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Archive for November, 2017

Over, let say, the last decade, fathers rights organizations all over the world agreed on this point: joint- custody – equal parenting rights for the father and the mother- had to be the default option after a divorce, that is, the law had to acknowledge fathers’ role as equal to mothers’ in raising and educating their children. Several countries inserted joint-custody into their family laws, but the outcome, from a  fathers rights perspective, remained below expectations,  partly because of the justice systems’ prejudice against men  (in the U.S. for instance), and the inertia of legal practices; You may very well grant (legal) joint-custody of the children to both parents, but if mom has the de-facto custody of the children, dad’s relationship with his children is toasted in the long-run. The poor fellow has very little chance to have any relationship with his children when they reach adult age.

That is the background for a bill about shared residence which is to be discussed today, Thursday November 30 2017. This bill is about making shared residence of children of divorced parents the default option. That is, children of divorced parents are to share residence with mom or dad equally over the years, depending on the constraints of each parents. This is no miracle solution by any means. France is not as large a country as the U.S., but if Dad and Mom lives far apart (Dad in Paris and Mom in Marseille for instance), shared residence is not going to work, because the child is to attend the same school over the year. Also, family counselors stressed the need for less than three-year old children’ s psychological stability not to be moved around from one place to the other. Hence, the parent who is granted custody (residency) of a child below three has to find ways to make exist his (her) ex in the daily life of the child, warned family counselors.

Would this bill help divorced fathers to be real and effective parents? Let see. What I like in this bill is that it gives, for once, incentives for all players – the justice system, moms and dads- to be smart. What does smart mean exactly for these folks ? The justice system would not be held accountable for (implicit) cultural norms dictating which parent a child ought to be with; hence the ground would be clearer for mom and dad to pursue, conjointly, the best interest for their child, given their own diverging interests as separated individuals.

I think that if some twenty years ago, a bill like this had been discussed- and passed- in New York State, I would have been given a chance to keep my relationship with my children, which I lost long ago. Perhaps I am just not the pessimist I think I am.

 

 

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.