A three-day Task Force meeting of “family law experts” (i.e., legal experts, mental health practitioners, conflict resolution practitioners, educators, judges, court services administrators, and researchers) reached strong consensus on Shared Parenting.
“Consensus Point 1: Promotion of shared parenting constitutes a public health issue that extends beyond a mere legal concern. Parents who collaborate in childrearing have a positive effect on their children’s development and well-being. Parents who engage in protracted and/or severe conflict that includes rejecting or undermining the other parent have a negative impact. The potential for shared parenting is present for children regardless of the family structure in which they live, and it represents a key protective factor in (a) helping children adjust to separation and divorce and (b) establishing an ongoing healthy family environment in which to rear children and facilitate high-quality parenting. (p. 152)”
Source: “CLOSING THE GAP: RESEARCH, POLICY, PRACTICE, AND SHARED PARENTING” by Marsha Kline Pruett and J. Herbie DiFonzo. (Family Court Review, Vol. 52, No 2, April 2014).
What is the “Tender Years Doctrine?” This is the belief that very young children – infants, toddlers, and children up to four years of age – should spend all their overnights in one location.
- It has been used to justify many court orders denying or restricting access between a fit parent and his or her children.
- But it is not supported by a broad consensus of scientific researchers.
- A definitive “Consensus Report,” published in a widely respected journal shows that the evidence supports overnights with both parents when the parents live separately.
- At a scientific conference on Monday, May 29, 2017 the author of the Consensus Report, Dr Richard Warshak, told the story of an attempt by several prominent clinicians to suppress the Report.
- They tried to prevent publication.
- They asked the journal editors not to publish the names of the 110 scientists who support the Concensus Report.
- They then resorted to calling the report “divisive.”
- Not surprisingly, the clinicians trying to suppress the report profit from high conflict divorce cases.
In the dry language of science: “Sufficient evidence does not exist to support postponing the introduction of regular and frequent involvement, including overnights, of both parents with their babies and toddlers. The theoretical and practical considerations favoring overnights for most young children are more compelling than concerns that overnights might jeopardize children’s development.” (p. 46, Warshak, 2014).
Source: Dr. Richard Warshak, Clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report.” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 2014, Vol. 20, No. 1, 46–67. This journal ranks in the top 75 out of 252 psychology journals according to Scopus statistics on citation impact.
The National Parents Organization (NPO.org) is sponsoring a group of experts on shared parenting. Some highlights from the NPO website, http://npo-icsp2017.org/ :
Research suggests that fully half of troubled children and adolescents derive from conflicted, separated and divorced families. The faculty will delve into the relationship between different types of post-divorce parenting arrangements and children’s subjective and objective outcomes, their attachment to parental figures, and specific issues such as age and developmental level, high conflict, domestic violence, and parental alienation. The conference offers the rare opportunity to interact with leading legal and mental health scholars from around the world on this important topic. The program will include plenary sessions, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and break-out workshops.
Given the high prevalence of conflicted, separated and divorced families, this conference will be of great benefit to all varieties of child and family practitioners and scholars, including any who deal with family policy, family law, psychology, child mental and physical health, alienation, domestic violence or family dynamics This is an unusual opportunity to learn from so many distinguished scholars from Australia to Europe to North America, any of whom would qualify as a keynote speaker, all at one conference. Information on continuing education can be found in the Program.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a pdf of the full program.
Registration and housing information: http://npo-icsp2017.org/registrationhousing/
This is an important conference, with a stellar international group of researchers on shared parenting. With this conference, shared parenting has gone mainstream, much as the civil rights and gay marriage movements did in another time.
Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in Understanding Children’s Best Interest?
Dr. Richard Warshak is the author of the widely known “Consensus Report” of 2014. The conclusions of this comprehensive literature review of children’s outcomes as related to post-divorce parenting plans were signed by 110 eminent authorities from around the world.
The research of Profs Malin Bergström of Sweden and Patrick Parkinson of Australia reflects the fact that shared parenting has been very common in both countries for almost a decade, thus reducing the research problem of selection bias.
Sponsored by the NPO and by the International Council on Shared Parenting
I will attend. Let me know if you plan to attend also: email@example.com
Register at: http://npo-icsp2017.org/
Please join shared parenting supporters in our effort to pass legislation reforming the family courts.
Where: the Lobby of the LOB, Hartford Connecticut
When: 4:30pm, Wednesday February 22, 2017
Who: Rep Minnie Gonzalez and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.
The Connecticut Judiciary Committee is considering a bill establishing the presumption of shared parenting. The bill will encourage parents to stay focused on their children in custody disputes. Children can maintain good relationships with both parents if the courts operate with a strong presumption that equal access, time and decision making authority unless a parent is proven unfit. Court costs are reduced because parents seek mediation when they know that the court favors equal involvement.
Call the leaders of the Judiciary Committee telling them that you want this bill and related bills (HB6626 and HB6638) voted out of the Committee for hearings. This is a basic democratic principle. The public can’t be heard unless they hold hearings. Be sure to talk personally to their legislative aids and call Rep Joe Aresimowicz, Speaker of the House:
|CT Judiciary Committee and House Speaker 2017
||860-240-8500, ask for Aide
||Sen Doyle, Paul R.
||860-240-0475, Aide: David Seifel
|| Sen. Kissel, John A.
||(800) 842-1421, Aide: Kate McAvoy
||Rep. Tong, William
||(860) 240-8585, Aide: Adam Sciviano
||Sen. Winfield, Gary A.
||(860) 240-8585, ask for aide
||Sen. McLachlan, Michael A.
||(800) 842-1421, Aide: Amanda Zavagnin
||Rep. Stafstrom, Steven
||(860) 240-8585, ask for aide
||Rep. Rebimbas, Rosa C.
||(860) 240-8700, ask for aide
IMPORTANT: Send letters to each person, especially Democratic Leadership: Legislative Office Building, Hartford, CT 06106-1591
For the full text of HB6645: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/TOB/h/2017HB-06645-R00-HB.htm
The following excerpts are from Vicki Turetsky, Federal Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement:
“Most child support debt is owed by parents who do not have sufficient income to fully pay their child support orders. Most debt is held by parents with less than $10,000 in reported income. An Urban Institute study of California child support arrears found that:
- 80 percent of unpaid child support debt is owed by parents with less than $15,000 net income.
- Over half of the arrears are owed by debtors with less than $10,000 income but more than $20,000 in debt.
- Only 1 percent of child support debtors have net incomes over $50,000.
- 70 percent of the arrears are owed to the government—to repay welfare costs—rather than to families.
- 27 percent of the debt is unpaid interest.
Conclusion: The actual choice facing policymakers is between chasing after nonexistent or sporadic payments now and developing the potential for steady support over the long haul.”
Source: pages 3 and 4 of “Staying in Jobs and Out of the Underground: Child Support Policies that Encourage Legitimate Work” by Vicki Turetsky, Center for Law and Social policy (CLASP) Child Support Series March 2007, Brief No. 2.
A shared parenting bill passed the MA house in July 2016, but failed in the Senate. The key sentence supporting shared parenting:
“The general court finds that every child in the commonwealth has the right to a safe, healthy and meaningful relationship with both parents, subject to the court’s determination of each child’s best interest, and encourages shared parental responsibilities.”
Do you agree that state legislatures should actively encourage shared parenting?
Unrealistic child support is a root cause of escalating violence between police and black men. Vicki Turetsky, Commissioner of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement says: “One third of young black men will serve time before they are 35 years old…. Many of these men are fathers—55 percent of state prisoners have children under 18….Fathers typically enter prison with a $10,000 child support debt and leave owing $20,000 or more.” P 1, Turetsky, March 2007, Policy Brief No. 2.
Walter L Scott, the black man recently shot and killed by police got behind on child support, and as a result he lost “the best job I ever had.” Then his life spiraled out of control, causing him to tussle with police before being shot in the back. Source: New York Times
Read more at http://nyti.ms/1yJelpe