Sunday, July 29, 2012

Will same sex couples accelerate the need for Equal Parenting

The NY Times article linked below is a longish look at the greater complications of same sex custody disputes. if you ever wondered if they would be more civil than hetero wonder no more. They are far more complex for a host of reasons, including the fact only one parent is biological. I have been following this one for years, first through attention given it by Glenn Sacks, in the USA.

I have always wondered if same sex disputes would accelerate the political process to equal parenting given they are part of a politically and socially protected group. I hope it does so children are not put through these kinds of divisive and dysfunctional, not to mention expensive, court battles and they are free to love and be with both parents.

This is not the only battle to occur with Lesbians getting divorces or breaking up from a partnership , civil union, or marriage but it is one of the first to garner this kind of MSM attention.


Cheryl Senter for The New York Times

July 28, 2012

 MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Lisa A. Miller and her daughter, Isabella, started their fugitive lives here in the fall of 2009, disguised in the white scarves and long blue dresses of the Mennonites who spirited them out of the United States and adopting the aliases Sarah and Lydia.

“We wanted to have a family and spend the rest of our lives together,” said Janet Jenkins, whose former partner, Lisa A. Miller, underwent a born-again conversion to conservative Christianity and took their child to Nicaragua. 

Now 10, Isabella Miller-Jenkins has spent her last three birthdays on the run, “bouncing around the barrios of Nicaragua,” as one federal agent put it, a lively blond girl and her mother trying to blend in and elude the United States marshals who have traveled to the country in pursuit.

She can now chatter in Spanish, but her time in Nicaragua has often been lonely, those who have met her say, long on prayer but isolated. She has been told that she could be wrenched from her mother if they are caught. She has also been told that the other woman she once called “Mama,” Ms. Miller’s former partner from a civil union in Vermont that she has since renounced, cannot go to heaven because she lives in sin with women.

Isabella’s tumultuous life has embodied some of America’s bitterest culture wars — a choice, as Ms. Miller said in a courtroom plea, shortly before their desperate flight, “between two diametrically opposed worldviews on parentage and family.” 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sarnia Family law rally set for Wednesday

It's nice to see this group getting some publicity for their hard and determined work in Family Law Reform. MJM

The Sarnia Observer

Observer staff

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:38:12 EDT AM

SARNIA - Canadians for Family Law Reform have a few events set for the next few weeks.
The family law watchdog group will host another public rally at Sarnia City Hall Wednesday. The public is invited out with signs from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The group will next host its monthly public meeting June 6. Anyone who needs support in dealing with the family law system is invited to attend. Meeting will be held at the Ontario Tourist Information Centre, 1455 Venetian Blvd. It runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit or search “Canadians for Family Law Reform” on Facebook.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The law should be helping a child to have two parents

The article shows thinking in the UK is still going on in terms of a child is deserving of two fit parents.  I'm not optimistic this will bear fruit but at least it's still under discussion. Dads are shut out for ideological reasons not the best interest of the child and studies clearly show the negative impacts on children. 

This is very important as Canada still looks to mother England, rightly or wrongly, for guidance with it's own laws.MJM

A host of social problems are made worse by the dismal way that 'contact disputes' are handled by the courts. 

By  6:30PM BST 26 May 2012

Every year, thousands of couples make their way through the courts, trying to resolve disputes about how to share the upbringing of their children. It has become a crushingly expensive way of creating single-parent families. Nearly half the parents (fathers, usually) who go to law in the hope of increasing the contact they have with their offspring end up losing touch with them completely within two years.

The Government is aware that a whole host of social problems are made worse by the dismal way that “contact disputes” are handled by the courts. The statistics show that children deprived of one parent do less well at school, are more likely to end up on benefits, addicted to drugs, or involved in crime.

It’s pretty obvious that a basic goal of policy in this area ought to be to ensure that children have relationships with both their mother and their father. And yet there is nothing in the existing legislation which even encourages the courts to aim for that outcome. So they don’t. The absence of any such requirement is one reason why so many disputes spend years in court without resolution, and lead to the creation of new single-parent families.

A little-noticed provision in the Bill on families and children in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month could help to remedy that depressing situation. It proposes that both parents should have the right to a meaningful relationship with their children, and that the courts should recognise that right – subject to it being compatible with the safety of the child.

This is a momentous change, with the potential dramatically to improve the way the courts process child contact cases. But for reasons that aren’t clear, it generates enormous hostility.
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The Coalition was advised against it by the Norgrove Report, which the previous administration commissioned to examine ways of improving family law. Mr Norgrove insisted that evidence from Australia – which introduced legal provision for a “meaningful relationship” with both parents in 2006 – showed that the result was that children were placed in situations where they were at risk of violence. He also said it had led to more litigation.

His claims have been comprehensively demolished by Patrick Parkinson, an Australian professor of family law. Litigation on child custody cases in Australia did not go up: it went down by a third. And an examination of the evidence showed that Norgrove’s claim that the “meaningful relationship” provision had led to children being put at risk of violence was “without foundation”.

The Government is to be congratulated for having had the courage to ignore Norgrove and insert into the Bill a requirement that both parents should have a meaningful relationship with their children. It is an important start – but it is only a start. If a “meaningful relationship” is not itself defined, it will only become an opportunity for more arguments in court about what it means. The result will be that it means nothing, and so does nothing to improve the chances that both parties in a divorce retain secure ties with their children.

The definition does not need to be put into the new statute, and probably could not be. But it can and should be inserted into the guidance that will dictate how the family courts operate.

Norway has a simple default position in divorce cases: the absent parent gets to look after their children every other weekend. Many states in the US have the same sort of rule. Something similar could be introduced here. It would greatly diminish litigation, and increase the chances that children would have a relationship with both of their separated parents.

In opposition, the Conservatives promised to introduce directives that would help the family courts to produce fewer single-parent families. It will be a dreadful indictment of their performance in office if they fail.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Parents to share child custody in Switzerland

Another country looks at the best interest of children and determines having contact with both parents on a relatively equal basis, just like in marriage, is appropriate.  Take not Canadian politicians and judges.MJM

The Local

Parents to share child custody in Switzerland

Published: 18 Nov 2011 11:38 GMT+1
Updated: 18 Nov 2011 11:24 GMT+1

The Swiss government has decided separated parents should automatically have joint custody of their children except in cases involving the specific protection of the child.

When a couple splits or gets divorced, custody of their children will be shared without the need for a prior agreement or the approval of a judge.

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said on Thursday that the Federal Council considered the move obvious, since a child has the right to build an autonomous relationship wityh both father and mother.

All political parties, as well as fathers’ and men’s associations, welcomed Sommaruga’s proposal, which is widely expected top pass into law when voted on in parliament in the coming weeks.

But while joint custody is set to become the norm, a judge will still have to sign off on the suitability of both parents to take responsibility for their children. A parent may be denied custody for reasons including infirmity, a history of violence or absence.

Currently, when a couple divorces, one parent generally gets sole custody. If the couple is not married, the mother is the legal custodian. For now, joint custody is only possible if both parties sign an agreement on how they plan to distribute and share alimony and childcare.

The draft proposal also regulates the question of residency. If a parent wishes to move, either alone or with the child, he or she will need the consent of the other party. If there is no agreement, a judge will have to intervene to protect the well-being of the child.

Every year, about 14,000 children in Swizerland are confronted with their parents’ divorce or separation.

Meritxell Mir (

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interview: Oliver Canic, Croatian Association for Equal Parenting president (

This is eerily similar to most western democracies.

By Natasa Radic for Southeast European Times in Zagreb -- 27/10/11

Oliver Canic initiated and founded Croatia's first Equal Parenting Association. [Petar Kos/SETimes]

 Two years ago, Oliver Canic founded the Association for Equal Parenting in Croatia. The group volunteers are mostly fathers trying to take a more active role in their child's upbringing after a divorce or separation.

The association is engaged in answering questions in the post-divorce and parenting equality issues, mostly from fathers, and some mothers. Canic talked to SETimes correspondent Natasa Radic about the need for equal parenting and its improvements in Croatia.

SETimes: What were the main reasons for initiating this project?

Oliver Canic: Every day I meet people who say they are being prevented from participating in their children's lives. The system in Croatia has been supporting a model where mothers usually gain full support of the system to push fathers away from children's lives after a divorce or break up between parents.

Fathers sometimes accept such status quo, but not frequently. We do not support either side. We think equal involvement of both parents in the lives of children after a breakup is necessary, where the children are granted their rights.

More:  Interview: Oliver Canic, Croatian Association for Equal Parenting president (

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 TV Season sees sexist role reversal with Chauviinst Women and Manginas.

Fall TV’s mean women, milquetoast men

Post-feminist shows flip gender stereotypes

Hampton Stevens -  The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If the fall TV season is any guide, the sexual revolution that was supposed to liberate men and women from traditional sex roles seems to have resulted instead in a straight-up role reversal. The male characters are messes - insecure, jobless, barely able to dress themselves without a wife or girlfriend and/or living in mom’s proverbial basement. Their female counterparts, meanwhile, are flaunting the same selfish, boorish ways that once got men called “chauvinist pigs.” The only difference today is that when these female characters act like jerks, we are expected to cheer them on as “empowered.”

Mindful of changing social mores, let’s take the men first.

As many critics have noted, 2011 is the season of emasculation with a bevy of new shows about the purportedly dire state of American manhood. For example, “Man Up” (which premiered Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on ABC) features a Judd Apatow-ish bunch of latte-sipping best friends in their 40s who go on a quest for their inner “Iron Johns.”

...more here