Equal parenting is a joint parenting arrangement in which children of divorce are given the right by the courts to have both of their parents share in the most equitable manner as possible the responsibilities of caring and raising the children. By having both parents play an active role in the caring of a child, both parents feel like they are a part of the child’s life and that neither one of them feels treated like a weekend visitor
Equal parenting has been shown to be in the best long term interests of the child. Psychologists agree that it is important for children to maintain meaningful contact with both their parents whenever possible. Wherever possible, parenting time should be equal on a 50/50 basis.
Statistics reveal that almost all non custodial parents with liberal or equal time with their children voluntary contribute their full share of expenses of the child. Non custodial parents are much happier knowing that they can spend time with their children in an equitable manner. In a equal parenting arrangement, the both parents have expenses they are responsible and accountable for, so both parents feel like they are giving directly to the child rather than the other parent. The children see both parents providing for their care.
- Promotes true gender equality between sexes in the parenting of children and recognizes both parents as significant contributors to a child’s development.
- Significantly reduces conflicts in court as one parent does not feel like they are being treated as a visitor with their own children, or a wallet to their former partner.
- The incentive to litigate is reduced as both parents will know that equal parenting will be awarded by the courts. Similar to no fault insurance, the outcome is predictable. As a result families will suffer less financial hardship.
- Equal parenting will reduce the financial incentive for families to break up. ghts to get control over the children in order to get support payments is one of the largest single factors in court custody battles today.
- Child access problems will be reduced. When both parents know that they have a reasonable share in the lifes of their children there is little motivation to fight. The best way to make peace is to have a fair agreement.
- Equal parenting solutions will significantly reduce the abuse of legal system through the use of false allegations against the other party.
KNOW THE FACTS
Every year in Canada thousands of family members lose their homes, their children, their life savings, their jobs, their future income, and their dignity fighting to win control of the children in court. The assets that a family has worked hard to save prior to divorce end up being spent on mediators, assessors, social workers, real estate agents and the lawyers. In the end the children end up with little if any of the family assets. Some families who lose everything, find themselves living on welfare and a burden to society. Working taxpayers pay for the additional costs.
In many cases court strategies and delays are used by one parent to deliberately prevent the children from seeing the other parent and to force the other parent into financial hardship. Often a custodial or primary-care parent will use their advantage as the primary parent to alienate the children from the other parent to destroy the relationship between the children and the other parent. The loving relationship that a child once equal with two parents is destroyed by one parent seeking revenge on the other parent without any thought of what is in the best interests of the child. Damaging as well is that often the custodial parent does not even allow the children to see the grandparents of the non custodial parent for no other reason except that they are relatives of the spouse they dislike. So many parents and children are hurt.
In recent years there has been a significant withdrawal in the influence that a father has on children in families of divorce. Statistics show that most custodial parents are mothers. On an average the custodial mother spends 80% of the time with the children compared to only 20% with the father. Analysis of these trends result in other alarming statistics that should be of concern to everyone.
From Fatherless homes:
221% as likely to have one or more child problems1
More than twice as likely to become male adolescent delinquents or teen mothers2
71 % of all high school dropouts3
63% of youth suicides4
85% of all youths sitting in prisons 5
*1 NLSCY 1996; 2 Phillips and Conamor, UoC (Berk) 1997; 3 Nat. Principals Ass. Rep State of HS; 4 USDHHS; 5 Tex Dept Correc 1992.
The most frequent reason for fathers fading from their children’s lives is the interference of the mother as well as the failure of the legal and court system to recognize and to understand the importance to children of being parented by both parents. Often access and visitation schedules are not flexible enough to allow children’s relationships with both their parents to grow.
Equal Parenting maintains the balanced input from both parents that is needed for proper development. Children as they grow must learn perspectives from both sexes to develop a normal balanced view and to be able to interact with both sexes when they reach adulthood.
One Reply to “Equal Parenting”
REVERSAL OF THE NORM; ending the ‘mother bias’ in family court-
By Clayton Robertson
Easy solutions are usually the best. If the courts are truly concerned ONLY of what’s in the best interest of the children we ALREADY have that answer; it does not need to be endlessly litigated. Fully every single study ever done proves that children do better with equal access to both parents after divorce, esp. their fathers. There has never been a variation to this finding save for extreme situations. We all know this and there is no disputing the fact. Still, mothers feel they are the better parent after divorce and demand full custody simply by virtue of their gender. Of course we all know it is really money driven (via ‘mommy support’ payments) and most always from the father to the mother; even if she earned more money then he during their marriage! Most mothers feel so angry after a divorce (even if they caused it) that they feel justified in ‘taking’ the children as punishment out on their soon to be ex whilst at the same time expecting him to pay her for kidnapping (which is illegal) for 18 more years! The complicit Judges, staying ‘within the proposed guidelines’ easily make this happen by simply reducing the father’s visitation time with his children thereby setting up that the cash flows to the mother from the father even if during the marriage, he spent more time with the children and his wife made the most money outside the home! Yes- Judges are allowed to do that; irrespective of what the father (or mother) is specifically asking for and he does not even have to explain why! Indeed, you will not even be given a chance to ask him about it as everyone is ushered out of the court room only to find out how the judge ruled in a document sent to you several weeks later in the mail called FINAL DISSOLUTION. Too late to call him on his criminal malpheasance! See how easy that is? Very few fathers understand that they have an option instead of erroneously believing the judge knows what he is doing. He does not. For how could he? He has never met any of the people before today yet he makes life altering decisions for them under the guise that he knows what’s in their best interest? Huh? That sounds more like children’s posturing on a swing set, not Superior Court! Where was the wise judge with help and advice to save the marriage before it came to its terminus? Yet somehow, he has enough information to change everybody’s lives just because they now stand in front of him for the first time?
It is sad that the mother gets pissed off because she was caught cheating (which naturally ends the marriage) and so makes the father pay for her adultery forevermore by purposely withholding equal access to his children even demanding payment from him for the privilege! And we have a blatantly ‘mother bias’ court system helping her all along the way to accomplish that endeavor…
Folks, this is not a ‘made for TV movie’ script but actually business as usual in today’s family court!
If I were a king (like most judges already feel they are) in my court room, it would automatically be known that both parents will share custody of the minor children EQUALLY until the children are 18 unless there is REAL compelling evidence why this can’t work. For example; the mother travels for a living and is not able to be home very much. In situations like this it will be highly encouraged (if not mandated) by the court for the mother to find “more suitable employment“ (within a reasonable time period) that would foster equal and regular contact of the children with both parents. This is exactly how the situation would be handled if the parents were still married so why does it always change to favor the mother after a divorce? In community property states, the division of property (which is always less contentious than division of the children) would be the only matter to be addressed i.e., everything acquired after the marriage is divided equally, no question about it. This one is up front and easy. No problem there and it certainly seems fair to all so why not divide the children equally as well?!?! Whose bright idea proposed that after divorce, the mother gets the children and fathers are reduced to the obligatory ‘every other weekend’ only?
Further, if I were a judge; “I don’t care how badly you parents treated each other before or even during the divorce, I will NOT let that influence me in giving more time to the mother! I know that the law of averages state that mothers are at least 50% at fault for all problems in a marriage and just because you two cannot get along does not automatically mean that the father is the lesser parent! You both brought the children into this world; you both will take care of them equally until they are 18” would be my ‘standard and usual’ proclamation from the bench. What could be simpler, more fair, less costly, and free up the courts and most accurately what is in the best interest of the children? It’s what the children want. It’s what the fathers want. It’s supposedly what the courts want; (remember, what’s in the best interest of the child?) and only mothers are the ones endlessly fighting this concept. Whatever happened to ‘majority rules’?
As king…, I mean Judge, Instead of the mother coming into my court room incessantly fighting for full custody; endlessly dragging out the litigation costing thousands of dollars from both sides (which the lawyers use to line their pockets but is better spent toward the children anyway) BOTH SIDES would have to prove instead why a 50/50 equal split is not in the best interest of the children. Prove instead to me why it can’t work by real evidence!
Mother’s hearsay, attitude, finger pointing and opinion will never suffice for real evidence!
“If you say it can’t work I want to know EXACTLY who your employer is and EXACTLY what your hours are and it will be verified before a ruling is made. In my attempts to be fair to ALL PERSONS here today I will attempt to remove the possibility of either of you becoming a ‘dead beat parent’ by MANDATING that you both stay in your children’s lives until they are 18. That’s right, MANDATING! Neither parent will be allowed to shirk their responsibilities toward their children as it was when they were still married. All expenses incurred for the maintenance of the minor children will be split evenly and binding mediation paid for by both (not endless, costly litigation) will henceforth be the vehicle to handle any disputes as they come up until age 18”.
With this simple, easily workable solution, mothers will no longer be the ‘favored gender’ as has been the case for far too long and a potential bonus of this ‘reversal of the norm’ is quite possibly that many divorces would not happen at all if the mothers understand fully that they will not get the house, the car, the furniture, alimony, mommy support for 18 years and of course, the biggest prize of all; the children.
This new and very workable system would completely eliminate-
1) Child support enforcement departments (none is paid to either parent)
2) Visitation enforcement agencies (equal time is already mandated)
3) Either parent taking on FULL responsibility of solely raising the children alone
4) ‘Mother bias’ would cease to be the way we do business in family court
5) Children erroneously believing that “daddy doesn’t love me as much as mommy cuz he only sees me on weekends”
6) Mother’s ability to withhold visitation from the father as ransom in lieu of always more and more money (which of course proves she is more interested in money than the children. Even the courts see the money and visitation as SEPARATE issues but sadly, many mothers do not…)
7) Neither parent would be able to have children and then abandon them in exchange for mandated large monthly installments made to the mother
8) Mothers can no longer run to the welfare system for yet additional monetary support claiming the father has abandoned his children freeing up many tax payer dollars as this would be an easily proven lie
9) Mothers ability to double and triple dip I.e. monetary ransom from first, second and third husbands AS WELL AS welfare assistance AND her full time employment while fathers have only a single job for his sole income
10) Neither parent would be allowed to move out of state effectually withholding access to the children under the guise of “finding a better job”. You must wait until the child is 18 as it is mandated that both parents stay involved equally. Neither parent including mothers will be allowed the shirk their responsibilities to the children.
11) Neither parents rights and wishes (esp. the mother) toward the children will trump the other parents desires out of spite or revenge
12) Fathers frustration that his ‘mommy support’ goes only to her drug habit and not to his kids as there is currently ZERO accounting for how his money is spent. When the kids are with him he pays for everything and the reverse is true during mother’s time. This way neither parent can claim no money is being spent on the children
Maybe, just maybe this will cause more relationships to ‘try and work things out’ which would ultimately be better for society as a whole. Certainly not all marriage should stay together but just as certainly; the time is well past for a ‘reversal of the norm’.