What is the Shared Parenting Council (SPC) of Connecticut?
The Shared Parenting Council (SPC) of Connecticut is an organization founded on the core principle that every child has a right to the care, affection, and protection of each parent and that both parents inherently share equal liberty interests and rights to the care, custody, and control, of their children, regardless of gender, as supported by our federal constitution. The Shared Parenting Council believes that a presumption under the law that starts with this premise, serves the best interest of the child, respects the child’s and parents’ rights for equal access to each other, and mitigates against escalating costs and conflict amongst the parents which so often exacerbates conflict in situations involving divorce and custody. Such an approach puts parents on a cooperative rather than divisive playing field.
What is the Mission of the Shared Parenting Council?
The Shared Parenting Council’s mission is to provide education and foster dialogue and initiatives in furtherance of policies that support both parents’ rights to equally care for and provide/receive affection from their child, including efforts to protect the child’s rights to equally enjoy the care and affection of his/her parents, thereby providing long term positive outcomes for the child and family. The Shared Parenting Council believes this can be accomplished by engaging the family law system, legislative system, and providing public awareness.
How does Shared Parenting Juxtapose Against Claims of Domestic Violence?
The Shared Parenting Council shares concerns regarding victims of domestic violence, regardless of what gender they may be. Valid claims of domestic violence have been diluted when false allegations are raised by one parent in an effort to use it as a weapon rather than a shield in an effort to get a “leg up” in custody issues. Due to the potential abuse of such claims, Shared Parenting Council stands with domestic violence victims in their efforts to pursue timely remedies in the court that include expedited and immediate interventions and hearings by the court to protect the victim while ensuring that an equally devastating act of unnecessary erasure of a parent from a child’s life does not occur. The Shared Parenting Council of Connecticut believes that by making shared parenting a presumption under the law, it becomes the rule rather than the exception – something that will further discourage false allegations of abuse and prevent diminishment of valid claims of abuse that courts can address in creatively providing more expedited tracts and interim measures to evaluate and come to a decision upon raised allegations of domestic abuse.
Domestic Violence and Unnecessary Denial of Parental Access Produce Equally Devastating Results
Neither domestic violence nor the unnecessary denial of parental access should be tolerated for each carry equally devastating consequences for the child, one no less devastating than the other. A notable landmark study in epidemiological research was conducted by both the American Health Maintenance Organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention entitled “The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. ” (Source: cdc.gov. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. May 2014. Archived from the original on 27 December 2015.) The study indicated that with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that include traumatic events like loss of access to a parent and domestic abuse, the child is at higher risk for long term negative behaviors. The ACE study results suggest that maltreatment and household dysfunction in childhood contribute to health problems decades later. Restricting or eliminating a child’s access to his/her parent involves devastating long term consequences that include, suicide, self harm, poor decision making in adult relationships, promiscuity, substance abuse and addiction, aggression, withdrawal, and major depression. See this link for further information on ACEs:
Equally, a child’s exposure to domestic violence also carries devastating consequences. Neither option is acceptable, and both are equally destructive, one no less than the other. Consequently, it is incumbent upon the courts to use due diligence to sort out fact from fiction and to do so expeditiously. Domestic violence, nor unnecessary denial of parental access, should be tolerated, and both groups have a vested interest in working with each other toward a “best practice” approach to protect the children.
21st Century Approach to Parenting
CT parents are presumed to be fit and suitable parents. Consequently, JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY should equally be a presumption under the law. When claims of abuse and neglect arise, the courts must be encouraged to provide an expedited path to immediately address the situation and provide an interim relief when necessary with an eye toward expeditious assessment and determination so as not to further harm the child and his/her relationship with both parents.
Current Trends in Parenting
While co-parenting is usually the best for children, in situations where parents can’t seem to communicate effectively with each other, shared parenting is still viable by use of “parallel parenting.” “Parallel parenting” has been used in these situations to allow parents to continue parenting. “Parallel parenting” is a style of parenting in which both parents learn to parent their child effectively, doing the best job each can do during the time the child is in their respective care. Parents disengage from each other so that conflicts are avoided. With parallel parenting, the parents do not have to consult each other or seek approval when making decisions on their children’s behalf. Rather, each parent agrees to let the other parent make their own decisions, in exchange for them being able to do the same. See the following link for more information on “parallel parenting”:
The Shared Parenting Council believes that a twenty-first century approach to custody will help create a pathway to improved parenting and enriched childhoods. Such a vision includes allowing for “parallel parenting” when the parties cannot agree.