Referendum on Shared Parenting?

How would you vote on this proposed referendum for Connecticut?

“The Connecticut Legislature shall be instructed to vote in favor of legislation requiring that in all separation and divorce proceedings involving minor children, the court shall uphold the fundamental rights of both parents to the shared physical and legal custody of their children and the children’s right to maximize their time with each parent, so far as is practical, unless one parent is found unfit or the parents agree otherwise, subject to the requirements of existing child support and abuse prevention laws?”

Should Connecticut have a referendum on shared parenting?

 

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Which is the better shared parenting law?

In 2018, Virginia passed a law requiring judges to consider shared parenting on a basis equal to sole or primary custody. This promises to change the current practice of awarding sole or primary custody in 85% of cases. Do you support that shared parenting should be an equal alternative to sole or primary custody?

In 2018, Kentucky passed a law requiring judges to start with a presumption of 50-50 shared parenting time, then apply the facts of the case from there. Do you support shared parenting as a starting point for negotiating custody schedules?

Which approach is better, Virginia’s or Kentucky’s?
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Kentucky Shared Parenting Law Reduces Conflict in Custody Cases

“What this law does is it mandates that when a case begins — a time-sharing case or custody case — that I start with what’s best for these children is a 50/50 time-sharing schedule with the parents. Then, I take the facts and apply them from there,” explained McCracken County Family Court Judge Deanna Henschel.

Republican state Rep. Jason Petrie of Elkton, one of the sponsors of the bill, said he hopes it will help reduce conflict.

“Parties are not fighting as much on that first hearing, given that there is a presumption that there is shared custody and equal parenting time,” Petrie said.

Conflict is reduced because the law eliminates the winner/loser mentality that is part of custody cases where one parent fights to become the custodial parent, relegating the other to a visitor with his or her children.

Source: https://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/05/01/new-kentucky-law-forces-joint-custody-default/ last accessed July 16, 2018

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2013 Task Force Strongly Endorses Shared Parenting- do you agree?

In 2013, a Task Force consisting of over 30 judges, lawyers, family court practitioners and researchers concluded that:

1.     “Promotion of shared parenting constitutes a public health issue that extends beyond a mere legal concern.”

2.     “Parents who collaborate in childrearing have a positive effect on their children’s development and well-being.”

3.     “Parents who engage in protracted and/or severe conflict that includes rejecting or undermining the other parent have a negative impact.”

Do you agree?

Agree that parents who collaborate have a positive effect?
Agree that parents who engage in conflict have a negative effect?
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Should Family Courts Presume that Both Parents are Fit?

Child welfare cases and family court courts share an imperative to seriously investigate allegations of abuse and violence, so that children and other family members are not placed in danger

  • In child welfare, parents are presumed fit, and “only after a parent is found unfit may a court reach the second question of who may care for the child based on the best interests of the child” (Bei-Wen Lee, 2017).
  • However, in the case of custody disputes in family court, the argument is frequently made that shared parenting should not be a general presumption based on the possibility of abuse in some cases.

Source: Prof. Kari Adamsons, U of Connecticut, January 26, 2018

Should family courts presume that both parents are fit, just like child welfare cases?

 

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Parallel parenting can work in high conflict custody cases

A distinguished task force of judges, lawyers, and family court professionals did a great job of defining shared parenting to include parallel parenting.

“even in circumstances where shared parenting may appear difficult, depending on the child’s age, maturity, and other circumstances,  parents still could have minimal communication and coordination and yet share the raising of their children in what is called “parallel parenting” (an arrangement in which parents agree to exchange important information about the child’s welfare, but otherwise permit each other to parent the child autonomously).”

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).

Should family courts insist on parallel parenting in high conflict cases, except where one parent is unfit?

 

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Symposium on Parenting Research and Family Court Practices

Aside

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
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Family Court Professionals Endorse Shared Parenting

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).

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Rally at CT’s Legislative Office Building, Wednesday, Feb 22

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.

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Support HB 6645: Shared Parenting is Good for Kids and Reduces Court Costs

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
Speaker Joe Aresimowica D 860-240-8500, ask for Aide
Co-Chair Sen Doyle, Paul R. D 860-240-0475, Aide: David Seifel
Co-Chair  Sen. Kissel, John A. R (800) 842-1421, Aide: Kate McAvoy
Co-Chair Rep. Tong, William D (860) 240-8585, Aide: Adam Sciviano
Vice Chair Sen. Winfield, Gary A. D (860) 240-8585, ask for aide
Vice Chair Sen. McLachlan, Michael A. R (800) 842-1421, Aide: Amanda Zavagnin
Vice Chair Rep. Stafstrom, Steven D (860) 240-8585, ask for aide
Ranking Member Rep. Rebimbas, Rosa C. R (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

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