Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shared and Equal Parenting reaches into the White House - Perhaps

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

EDITORIAL: Todd who?

From all the talk generated by Sarah Palin's vice presidential nomination, many men and women are trying to stomach the debate over whether a woman can have a demanding job and raise a family it is clear that no one has given the slightest inkling, or at any moment allowed even a scintilla of thought to enter their heads that maybe Todd Palin, her husband, is qualified to raise their children.

Whether it is Sally Quinn saying that it is always the mother who ultimately has to raise the children, or Bay Buchanan saying that Sarah is a good mother and will be a good mother, it is obvious that regardless of whether Mrs. Palin can do both jobs, Mr. Palin certainly isn't qualified to do one - raise children - at least it seems. Most men have long since given up trying to tell America that many fathers, despite what you read and hear, are taking care of their children - there are about 2.5 million single fathers with custody of their children in the U.S., according the U.S. Census. But apparently not even marital status matters anymore. Fathers, married or unmarried, are painted out of the picture, even when present.

No one cares whether Mr. Palin is going to be able to manage the transition from seasonal fisherman and oil-field production operator, to raising five children - one with Down's syndrome. Conservative, liberal, Democratic and Republican women would have you believe Mrs. Palin will nurse the child in the White House during cabinet meetings, or that instead of Mr. Palin feeding the baby his bottle, a nanny will be hired to do it because he certainly can't.

The arguments of hypocrisy are flying back and forth. Liberal women, who for years have been fighting for exclusive ownership of life, equal pay for equal work, women in the military and liberation from male dominance, are now saying stay home with the children, leave the work to men. And conservative women who have been pushing for traditional family values, a mother's right to stay at home, home schooling, and no to women in combat, are now claiming Mrs. Palin can do it all. It's malarkey.

Parenting has to be between two people - a mother and a father and vice versa. When one parent can't do something for the children, the other has the responsibility to pick up the slack. Marriage, like parenting, is also a two-way street, equal partners each bringing their strengths to bear to make up for each other's weaknesses.

Is it any wonder why so many women are single? Is it shocking why so many women are single mothers? Considering how Todd Palin has been treated by the public and press (as Mr. Irrelevant) you shouldn't be.

Fathers 4 Justice Canada Barney Mobile in Goderich, ON

Wednesday, August 10, 2008

Fathers for Justice crusades in Goderich

“We know this isn’t going to save our relationships with our kids,”

Posted By Gerard Creces

Posted 10 hours ago
The Goderich Star

“We know this isn’t going to save our relationships with our kids,” said Dennis Van Decker, one of the many cross-country crusaders spreading the message for Fathers for Justice (F4J). “We’re doing this for the greater good.”

Van Decker was out on The Square last week, distributing flyers, bracelets and providing information about the group, as well as looking for new members for the parental rights organization.

However, the rights advocate may have been better recognized as the caped crusader himself, Batman. Van Decker is one of Fathers for Justice’s every day superheros.

“The reason we dress like this is because parents are like super heroes to their kids,” he said.

Fathers for Justice has a number of these every day heroes like Van Decker, who are currently driving coast to coast, fighting for truth, justice and equality, according to their promotional material. Each of them are mustering up support for Bill M-483.

The Private Member’s bill, introduced in Parliament by Saskatoon-Wanuskewin MP Maurice Vellacott, would see changes made to the Federal Divorce Act that would grant equal rights for both parents in the case of divorce. It also seeks to quell the adversarial nature of divorce court proceedings, and the destructive effects they have on the whole family, not only the parent who is denied custody. Showing her support was Van Decker’s second wife, Anne-Marie Finn, dressed as Batgirl.

“It’s mainly men,” he said about who bears the burden. “But it affects my wife and my mother... She doesn’t get to see her granddaughter.”

The changes to the Divorce Act, said Van Decker, are what Fathers for Justice have been after for a long time.

However, it wasn’t his personal story he wanted to share. Rather, he said getting into personal cases diffuses from the group’s message for equality, painting a picture of just “another angry father.”

“It’s not just fathers,” he reiterated, motioning to the courthouse. “Even in a community the size of Goderich, there could be hundreds of (custody) cases going on and thousands of people affected.”

Armed with a utility belt full of statistics, he said that while the average divorce costs $25,000, the only people who really gain from this are family lawyers.

“Take the money spent on lawyers and put it into mediators,” he said. “The hostility driven into people by family law makes people fight.”

There is a systemic bias, he said, where 85 per cent of Canadian custodial cases end with the child going with their mother, while 10 per cent are joint custody but the child lives with the mother.

Only five per cent of custody cases end with the father receiving custody of the child.

In an effort to make the system equal, Fathers for Justice has been trying to gather as much national media attention as possible, staging demonstrations across Canada.

In early August, Van Decker (dressed as Mr. Incredible) was taken into police custody after Fathers for Justice staged a sit-in on the roof of Jack Layton’s Toronto riding office.

Two weeks ago, an F4J member dressed as Spiderman climbed a crane in Toronto and in Saskatchewan, Batman and Robin were seen climbing the Legislature building - all in an effort to raise awareness and support for Bill M-483.

“Once the bill is passed, then our job will be done,” he said.

Politicians on both the Liberal and Conservative parties have already shown support for the bill, but with an election potentially coming, Van Decker said the group is set to adapt to the changes.

As it stands, F4J’s plan is to go from British Columbia to Newfoundland and congregate in Ottawa on October 7 - the earliest date Vellacott would read the bill before Parliament.

Toronto Star ~ Justices seek to scrap family court

Justices seek to scrap family court
Ontario justices (from left) Heather Smith, Warren Winkler and Annemarie Bonkalo spoke at the court opening Sept. 9, 2008.
Custody battles and related disputes should be heard under one roof, they say
Sep 10, 2008 04:30 AM

Legal Affairs Reporter

Two of Ontario's chief justices are calling for the province's family court system to be scrapped and replaced with a new model that would see custody and property disputes decided by judges housed in the same courthouse, alongside a variety of family support services.

Family breakdowns often involve complex social problems that need co-ordinated responses from the judiciary and government agencies, along with more funding, Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler said.

"The pace of new funding must increase, in recognition of the fact that judicial intervention is only part of what is needed to cope with family breakdown and child protection," he said in a speech in Toronto yesterday to mark the opening of Ontario's courts for 2008-09.

Addressing a courtroom packed with judges and lawyers, Winkler and Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo of the Ontario Court of Justice called for an expansion of "unified family courts."

It would end the practice, still common in many parts of the province, including Toronto, of having one type of family law problem – such as a custody battle – dealt with by a provincially appointed judge in one courthouse and a related problem – a money or property dispute – decided by a federally appointed judge in a superior court.

While family law cases have been shifted into a single "unified" court in 17 locations around the province, merging family courts across Ontario would require co-operation from Ottawa, which appoints and funds superior court judges.

Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley agrees with bringing all family court matters and services under the same roof, which would make it easier for members of the public to resolve these legal problems, said Sheamus Murphy, his senior adviser, adding, however, that Ottawa has yet to show its support.

Murphy said he couldn't estimate how much Ontario spends on family courts because their operations are meshed with civil and criminal courts. The federal government, he said, provides "very limited funding" for family justice services, even though it has sole jurisdiction over legislation governing divorce and family property issues.

Winkler has suggested it's unfair for people who have been strained by litigation and perhaps given up a day's pay to attend court to have the added burden of trying to find the right courthouse.

There's "a large appetite" for a broader review of the family court system, he added in his speech yesterday. Bonkalo put it more plainly, calling for "a full review of family justice in Ontario," although it wasn't clear from her speech what she believes must be reviewed.

Bonkalo did note, however, that family law cases are often complex and time-consuming and the growing number of people representing themselves in court without lawyers is adding to the difficulties.

A shortage of superior court judges has also been blamed for court delays that drive up the cost of resolving family law disputes. Chief Justice Heather Smith of the Superior Court of Justice noted, however, that two dozen judicial vacancies on her bench have been filled by the federal government.

Parliament is allowing the appointment of a further 20 judges to superior courts across Canada, including eight in Ontario. Six of those eight will be sworn in this week, Smith said.

Family Courts

It is good news that a comprehensive review is being thought about. To streamline family courts the federal divorce act requires changes to have a presumption of equal and shared parenting on family split up barring any provable abuse by either party. It may well be more judges won't be needed as this will reduce the amount of litigation considerably and result in a much fairer system. Currently 85% of mothers obtain custody about 10% are joint with the mother having custody and only in 5% of cases does the dad get custody. It is said that 40% of court time is consumed by family law cases. True equality should be the benchmark not the current misandry that is prevalent.

Posted by Mike Murphy at 11:28 AM Wednesday, September 10 2008


With respect, the Federal Court doesnot have sole jurisdiction over property division upons separation. The Ontario Family Law Act provides a specific method of dividing failty property, and for the possession of the matrimonial home. Exsclusive federal jurisdiction is limited to divorce.

Posted by C Suggitt at 11:16 AM Wednesday, September 10 2008

review of family justice in ontario

it is long overdue and should completely examine the entire system from stem-to-stern with input from all interested parties

Posted by gonzo at 11:16 AM Wednesday, September 10 2008

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie