Legislative Office Building – Room 1C
300 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Friday, January 26, 2018, 2pm
2:00 – 2:30 Introduction: Speaker: John Clapp
Need to review and update information outlined in 2014 paper titled
“Closing the Gap: Research, Policy, Practice, And Shared Parenting”
by Marsha Kline Pruett and J. Herbie DiFonzo.
2:30 – 3:30 Presentation: Speaker: Prof. Kari Adamsons, Ph.D. -
Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and
Family Studies at the University of Connecticut.
Research relevant to “gap” issues identified in 2014 paper including
new research presented at the International Conference on Shared
Parenting held on May 29-30, 2017, Boston, Massachusetts.
3:30 – 4:00 Questions and Discussion with Audience
Moderator: John Clapp
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).
A renowned Cambridge University Professor, Dr. Michael Lamb, says that young children benefit by forming attachment to both parents, and other caring involved adults as well. Speaking at the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017 in Boston Prof. Lamb said that a child’s attachments to caring adults develop in the first 7-8 months. He spoke on Tuesday, May 30. Prof. Lamb is widely credited with developing the science of early childhood attachment formation.
He said that young children who spend time, including overnights, with one caring attachment figure are not harmed by the separation from another parent.
Prof. Lamb summarized five studies of attachment formation in cases where parents live apart. He parsed the studies according to the selection of their sample and the validity of their outcome measurements. Giving greater weight to studies with better samples and stronger methods, he concluded that a child’s attachment to more than one adult produces better outcomes. He pointed out that this likely follows from the emotional support one parent can give the child when the other parent is experiencing difficulties. He called for more research on causal factors.
Bottom line: overnights with each parent in different homes help young children form strong attachments.
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?
When there is a lot of money at issue in divorce court, parents have reason to hire lawyers and then get locked into expensive court battles. High conflict in court can be reduced by reducing unrealistically high child support orders. Massachusetts took steps in this direction in 2014.
Existing methods for calculating child support are deeply flawed because they make hypothetical allocations of income to raising children, resulting in divorce orders more than two times the actual cost of raising children. Real families adjust their total expenditures because the children change their lifestyle, but this is ignored by child support guidelines.
All this is explained in a fun and informative youtube video by Joe Sorge at DivorceCorp:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=196XCAXfqrI&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=Mailing+Lists&utm_campaign=e56d991e78-Shocking_Facts_On_Child_Support_3_23_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5b1488f8f-e56d991e78-165851009