Time for Canada to embrace equal shared parenting.

Subject: Re: [CEPC_Members] Law Times- Speaker’s Corner: Time for Canada to embrace equal shared parenting

Speaker’s Corner: Time for Canada to embrace equal shared parenting

Monday, 05 May 2014 08:00 | Written By Brian Ludmer | Print | Email


From the 1998 Senate special joint committee recommendations to the present, numerous reports and statements concerning the family law system have recognized the need for fundamental reform as it relates to contested custody cases.

Bill C-560, a private member’s bill proposed by Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, is a reasonable and balanced proposal to address the current broken system. Parliament will debate bill C-560 on May 7, followed by a second reading vote.

The principal change to the Divorce Act, with the goal of reducing incentives for bitter and expensive litigation over children, is the proposal for a rebuttable presumption that equal shared parenting would support the best interests of the children unless a party can establish that some other parenting plan would substantially enhance those interests.
Section 16(10) of the Divorce Act, as amended in 1985, calls for a consideration of maximum contact with both parents. However, experience with reported decisions to date has shown that the great majority of decisions are still following a primary and secondary parent model with secondary parent time-shares running from 16 per cent (alternate two-day weekends and some mid-week contact for a few hours) to 35 per cent (alternate three-day weekends and one mid-week overnight) after accounting for equal vacation time.
However, social science research overwhelmingly supports the more current understanding that children need, benefit from, and want two primary parent relationships after separation rather than one parent and someone they go to visit. Among the leading experts globally is Prof. Ed Kruk of the University of British Columbia. He recently published a book with a synthesis of the rationale for equal shared parenting and a listing of the leading global peer-reviewed research.

There’s wide acceptance that children deprived of meaningful relationships with one of their parents are at greater psychological risk even when they’re able to maintain relationships with the other parent and that shared time and parenting between two parents works. Shared custody agreements have also been shown to reduce parental conflict and increase co-operation over time.
Bill C-560 recognizes that the current effort to specify with precision a specific time-share between a primary and secondary parent isn’t logically or empirically justified. Custody litigation seeking to marginalize one parent has no discernible benefit when measured against the financial and emotional cost and the impact on the children of litigation.
Public opinion polls over many years have consistently shown up to 80-per-cent support for equal shared parenting across all demographics, regions, and political affiliations. Support among Canadian women is indistinguishable from men, and a global group called Leading Women for Shared Parenting is assisting in efforts in Canada and elsewhere. Perhaps this is because, according to Statistics Canada in 2012, the employment rate for women with children under six years old was 67.8 per cent (up from 31.4 per cent in 1976) and 79 per cent for women with children from six to 15 years old (up from 46.4 per cent in 1976).
Despite the development of both permissive and mandatory mediation, collaborative law organizations, and parent education programs, the family law courts remain overburdened with substantial backlogs due to child-related disputes. This problem, together with the associated costs to taxpayers and parents, has only gotten worse over the years. The cost of litigation has led to significant advantages for wealthier parents and those more able to represent themselves.

The opposition to equal shared parenting frequently comes from divorce industry professionals who might have difficulty reviewing bill C-560 objectively since one of the main goals and likely effects of the Divorce Act amendment is to reduce the current plague of custody litigation. However, many studies identify the very existence of the custody litigation itself as the primary concern regarding the effect of divorce on children.
In response to the active discussion in the media and on behalf of several shared parenting organizations, I prepared a document on the myths and facts about bill C-560 that dispels the rhetoric and confusion put forth in opposition to it.

In addition to the public support and strong social sciences empirical support, there are several key facts to consider:
Bill C-560 will foster settlements and reduce litigation due to the requirement that a parent seeking primary parent status must establish that disproportionate parenting time will substantially enhance the best interests of the children, a principle that remains the focus under bill C-560.
Bill C-560 focuses on the right of the child to know and love two primary parents in accordance with the leading research on the best outcomes for children of divorce and Canada’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mediated, consensual or, if needed, adjudicated custom solutions are still available under bill C-560 where there is demonstrable merit in light of the unique aspects of the particular family. The proposed legislation does not impose a one-size-fits-all solution; it merely provides a starting point for adjudication based on what works for most children and then still allows for an examination of the unique aspects of a family to see if a disproportionate time-share is justifiable.
Decision-making powers can fall to one parent for good reason even though child time-share is equal or close to equal.

Bill C-560 is an urgently needed, balanced response to a significant social problem that is familiar to anyone with exposure to child custody litigation. The public overwhelmingly supports the equal shared parenting solution. Parliament will soon speak on the issue.

Brian Ludmer of LudmerLaw is a business and family law practitioner and was among the drafters of bill C-560.


Canadian election party questionnaire about corruption in Family Law

2011 Federal Candidate Questionnaire

on Equal Parenting & Family Law reform

If you have time for only one question, do #1 & e-mail to ccc@coparent.ca

(feel free to attach other sheet to answer “other opinion” or expand your answer, & fax back)


Candidate: ______________________

Riding: _______________ Party: _________

  1. None of the 48 recommended changes of the  1998 Joint Senate-Commons committee on child custody and access has been implemented in law. Parents had written their own bill implementing equal parenting, designated  C-422 in the last Parliament, but it died with the election. If elected, are you willing to commit to implementing these long awaited changes to the federal divorce act?

__Yes, ___

__No, ____


  1. The 1998 Joint Senate-Commons committee on child custody and access recommended that Divorce law be reformed to move to the term “shared parenting” Do you support reforming law and practice so children in separating families could have more likelihood of benefiting from shared parenting?

__Yes, shared parenting benefits society, too

__No, I prefer sole custody and primary care-giver doctrine.

Other opinion:___________




3. False Accusations: Non-custodial parents (primarily fathers) complain that false accusations, often in custody, access or divorce conflicts, are used in courts to bias cases against them, drain their assets and stereotype them to the profit of the legal system. Should lawyers be held criminally responsible for any demonstrably false accusation, or one which the lawyer ought to know to be false?

__ Yes, personally abusive or offensive tactics and false accusations as negotiating interfere with the orderly administration of justice and have no place in our legal system.

__ No, I support the current system where any falsely person can spend millions pursuing a claim through the Courts to try to clear his name.

Other opinion:___________



4 Access Enforcement: Divorced parents often complain that court orders giving them access to their children are violated and not enforced. Should government and courts be required to enforce rulings on access?

__Yes, otherwise the courts will be brought into disrepute, making a lawless society.

__ No, the custodial parent should have sole power to decide if and when children see the other parent.

Other opinion: _____________


5. Justice Department Consultation: Justice Canada’s consultation policy gives special access to two lobby groups: the legal profession and ideologically selected women’s organizations. Should consultations be opened to all groups?

__ Yes, these two groups have vested interests in the current adversarial system and preserving their income from governments and divorcing parents, so we need more diverse voices, particularly parents in family law matters.

__ No, lawyers’ organizations and feminists can select laws, judges and regulations that the rest of us have to obey.

Other opinion:___________





6. The federal government’s Child Support Guidelines are based on a standard of living equalization formula developed by radical feminists, which assumes child care by only one parent, and is based on only one person’s income. Do you agree with this approach?

__ Yes, it makes it simple for judges to order sole custody & includes needed spousal support.

__ No, it is not fair for shared parenting, or if incomes are very different.

Other opinion:___________




7. After the Supreme Court ruled that the deduction-inclusion system was fairer for the majority of women, children and parents, then Finance Minister Paul Martin changed the system for child support to be tax-free to the recipient. Do you agree with this change?

__Yes, Martin’s approach benefits higher income women and gives the government up to a billion dollars more in higher taxes.

__No, the previous system benefited lower income separated parents and parents kept more money to invest in their children.

Other opinion:___________

8.   In 2003 (Then) Justice Minister Cauchon stated that parents have no rights in relation to their children – only obligations.  Do you agree that parents have no rights, only responsibilities?

__  Yes, parents should have no more rights to their children than any member of the public, or convicted child molester.

__  No, parents need a balance of rights and responsibilities  to raise children in Canada.

__  Other opinion: ______________



9. Bias in Family Courts: separated fathers complain that they pay higher support amounts than women in the same circumstances, are discriminated against in custody and access judgments and often have to pay the legal fees for the other side. Do you agree that this is a problem and that court practice needs to be reformed?

__Yes, this bias, shown in every objective study, can corrupt civil and criminal law so that Canadians don’t respect the legal system.

__ No. Bias, if any, is simply compensation for thousands of years of male-dominated judiciary

Other opinion:___________



10. Should support be limited? Judges have  support amounts (child + spousal) higher than the payor’s income, resulting in destroyed businesses, ruined careers and suicides. Should support be limited or related to actual income?

__Yes,  a destroyed or suicidal parent is of no support to his child.

__No, judges should continue to attribute income to fathers they don’t like, to benefit women they have sympathy for.

Other opinion:___________



11. Do you agree: Separated parents should have the same support obligations to adult children as married parents. (Currently only separated, non-custodial parents are forced to support “children” as old as 28)

__ Yes, as there is no assurance that the money actually goes to benefit the adult child.

__ No, I support the current law & practice which takes money from the NC parent to benefit the CP (custodial parent).

Other opinion:


12. Female Parents get preferential treatment in the Income Tax Act, parental leave, Canada Pension Plan and many other laws.  Do you agree that mothers and fathers should be equal in all federal laws and regulations?

__Yes, we give women equality in the workplace, so we should give men equality in  the home.

__ No, I agree with the current approach, as any government assistance to fathers might reduce the amounts available to mothers.

Other opinion: _____________




13. Justice Canada has published “spousal support guidelines” recommending their use by judges, although these have never been reviewed by Parliament or the public. Do you agree with this approach to regulating courts?

__Yes, one or two law professors can produce better results than democratically elected politicians.

__ No, this sets a dangerous, un-democratic precedent.

__  Other opinion:




14. In the Same Sex Marriage bill (2005) the terms mother and father in federal legislation were replaced with, “legal parent”, a change giving power to judges and bureaucrats to remove or suspend traditional natural parent rights. Do you agree with the “legal parent” change?

__Yes, I agree with Justice Canada that eliminating parent rights is necessary for same sex equality.

__ No, natural parents need a balance of rights and responsibilities to raise Canada’s children.

__  Other opinion:





Please complete and return this questionnaire to:

Family Forum Fax: (613) 260-0401 Or mail:

631 Tubman, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 8L5

(or you can get this questionnaire as a word file by request at ccc@coparent.ca
Family Forum Questionnaire

c/o 631 Tubman

Ottawa K1V 8L5











Additional  Family Justice Questionnaire.

Please return  answers  to:

Connie Brauer and Victor Harris


1061 Mines Rd.

Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0


Phone and Fax :  902.798.5267

Email: cbrauer@eastlink.ca



Candidate________________________ Party_______________________________________

What is your party doing to:


  1. End the abuse, incompetence, discrimination and slavery  by Canadian judges against non custodial families? Systematic destruction to families.




  1. What is your party doing to ensure the GUARANTEED Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are upheld and ENFORCED by judges? There is no Charter. No judges will uphold it.




  1. What is your party doing to end the fraudulent child support, theft and extortion of missing, adult children by the judges? Fraud, theft, extortion and parental alienation is rampant in our courts.


  1. What is your party doing to end discrimination and abuse of parents and children by sole custody parents and their biased judges? Judges always support the custodial parent and criminalize the non custodial parent.





  1. What is your party doing to stop the human trafficking of babies and children by judges who automatically award permanent custody to Children’s Aid Societies who apply for apprehension orders based on no threat or evidence of physical harm? Saw this with my own eyes!


If you think this isn’t happening in our country, you are not informed. These Crimes Against Humanity are being practiced every day, in every court in Canada. Who speaks for Canadian families? This could happen to your family.





Take it from one who has been there.


Connie Brauer and Victor Harris


1061 Mines Rd.

Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0


Phone and Fax :  902.798.5267

Email: cbrauer@eastlink.ca