Dec. 3, 2018-Colman speaks to the House of Commons Justice Committee, Excerpt #1

I am going to depart from the usual format. The Justice Committee of the House of Commons is considering Bill C78. This Bill would make changes to the Divorce Act. While it modernizes the language of "custody and access" cases in a positive way, it does not include a Rebuttable Presumption for Equal Shared Parenting. The Committee has been receiving written and oral submissions from interested groups and individuals. Yours truly co-drafted a Brief on behalf of Lawyers for Shared Parenting, Canadian Equal Parenting Council and other groups in the Family Rights Movement. I had the privilege to appear before the Committee on November 26th. I excerpt below part of my submissions.

Two Reasons: Three are two reasons that this Committee should adopt a Rebuttable Presumption for ESP:

  1. The Social Science literature is crystal clear.
  2. The public overwhelmingly wants it. (The lawyers do not.)

Social Science Literature overwhelming establishes the utility of ESP. You can find the footnoted sources at fn 44 of our Brief. If you need help, send an email. My web site also has quotations from the leading social science literature; see "ESP Thought of the Day". Our Brief discusses the literature. It comes down to three simple points:

  1. Time %: The closer we get to 50% residential time = better outcomes for children.
  2. Outcomes axes: ESP = better outcomes on many axes of measured child behavior and adjustment.
  3. ESP outcomes are better, even independent of other factors:
    1. Quality of parent-child relationship (i.e. even marginally fit parents are beneficial).
    2. Parental incomes (i.e. Joint physical custody benefits are not tied to standard of living of the parents. ESP kids do better no matter what are their parents' incomes).
    3. Low to high conflict levels do not yield appreciably different results in terms of benefits to children. (However, I will admit that extreme conflict situations could negate JPC.)

Gene C. Colman, Oral Presentation to The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, House of Commons, Ottawa, 26 November 2018