Jan. 29, 2019-Myths v. Facts #4
4. Myth: Equal parenting initiatives have been attempted and the results have not been favourable and there has been a move to undo the reforms.
I. This is entirely untrue. The Australian experience was actually well received by the public with a noted decrease in litigation and increased satisfaction with post-separation arrangements. Any further legislative changes thereafter were simply a result of political lobbying. After the passage of the 2006 shared parenting amendments in Australia, the Australian Government commissioned a study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Amongst the findings were that an increased number of parents were able to sort out their post separation arrangements with minimal engagement of the formal family law system and that the majority of parents in shared care time arrangements reported that the arrangements worked well for them and their children The 2012 changes (primarily focused on domestic abuse cases) were the result of a politically-driven process and were not based on the actual experience of the public with family law dispute resolution during the period of time between 2006 and 2012 Prior to the implementation of the 2006 Australian reforms, 77% of Australians supported shared parenting. Five years after implementation, the figure had risen to 81%.
II. Kentucky became the first state of the United States to introduce a rebuttable presumption of equal parenting. All of the public opinion polls since then have indicated broad based satisfaction with the reforms in practice and similar supportive experience reported from professionals advising family law litigants.
III. Arizona several years ago instituted broadly worded maximum contact provision. All of the opinion polls since have ratified the positive developments that resulted therefrom and the fact that, in practice, De facto equal shared parenting now exists in Arizona. A further follow-up study by Professor William Fabricius, who was a witness on November 26, reported broad based satisfaction with the Arizona reforms.
IV. Legislative proposals to introduce equal parenting are pending in at least half of the states of the United States, according to Leading Women for Shared Parenting and National Parents Organization. Professor Fabricius corrected an erroneous assertion by another witness – there has never been an equal parenting law in the US which was subsequently withdrawn.
V. Broad-based international initiatives under the auspices of the International Council on Shared Parenting are also creating traction throughout the developed world.
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