Feb. 7, 2019-Myths v. Facts #7
7. Myth: A Rebuttable presumption of equal shared parenting does not reflect parents’ and children’s expectations based on prior child care arrangements before separation.
I. The mental health literature and jurisprudence makes it clear that families restructure after separation and prior child care arrangements are not necessarily determinative of an optimal post-separation arrangement where parents make adjustments to their work life and other interests in order to step up and fulfill their role as a primary parent. Children universally want both parents to remain involved as primary parents after separation according to numerous surveys and studies.
II. Parental roles prior to separation are a mix and even when there is a stay-at-home parent, the other parent is usually substantially involved in the evenings and on weekends. As a societal value, if parenting arrangements prior to separation were determinative, couples would be well advised to insist on nannies and daycare as opposed to a stay-at-home parent when children are young and parents would avoid contributing to the children’s welfare through working in order to maintain a tactical advantage by being a “stay at home parent”. The needs of working women need to be respected and merely because they are working (in order to help the entire family budget) this should not impact on post-separation parenting decisions.
Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Bill C-78 by the Canadian Association for Equality and Brian Ludmer, B.Comm, LLB. – Myths and Facts Concerning a Rebuttable Presumption of Equal Shared Parenting, 27 November 2018