Monday, April 20, 2009

ACFC ~ Two items of Interest on Shared Parenting in two Countries

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This newsletter contains two items of interest.

Oregon Shared Parenting Bill Hearing
Just in...Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing HB 3402 for Shared Parenting in Oregon. The hearing is at the Oregon State Capitol Room 357 beginning at noon. Please attend and show your support. The proposed law defines joint legal and physical custody as presumptively in the best interest of the child. The bill declares relocation not in the child's best interest and penalizes parents for access interference. Click here to read the bill.

Canadian Member of Parliament Conducts Equal Shared Parenting Poll
MP Maurice Vellacott sent this announcement late last week. Thanks to our friends and counterparts at the Canadian Equal Parenting Council for supplying the poll numbers. Click here for the poll. It's obvious the public 'gets it' when it comes to Shared Parenting. Our task is to turn these sentiments into reality.

Maurice Vellacott, MP

Vellacott releases results of new
equal shared parenting poll

For Immediate Release April 16, 2009

OTTAWA Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) today announced the results of a new poll on Equal Parenting after divorce.

"The results indicate that four out of five Canadians (80 percent) continue to support equal shared parenting after divorce with almost no difference by gender, region, age group, or party affiliation," said

Maurice Vellacott. “This poll was commissioned in conjunction with the work I've been doing to advance Equal Parenting through Private Member's Motions and Bills,” Vellacott added.

The results are nearly identical to a survey conducted in 2007, and are part of a long term trend indicating continuing high levels of support for equal parenting.

Conducted by Nanos Research during March, 2009, the question asked survey participants was: “Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose federal and provincial legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases?" The statistical margin of accuracy is 3%, 19 times out of 20.

Last year Vellacott tabled Private Members Motion M-483 on Equal Parenting to gauge parliamentary support and received 17 Conservative and Liberal seconders to his motion.

"The response I received to this motion has encouraged me to proceed with the poll and the drafting of a Private Member’s Bill in this session with a view to garnering all-party support for Equal Parenting, Vellacott said.

Poll results indicate that supporters of all Parties in the House of Commons are united in their support for Equal Parenting, ranging from a low of 76 percent for NDP voters to a high of 83 percent for the Bloc.

Recalling the popular support for the 1998 “For the Sake of the Children” report, Mr. Vellacott noted that there has historically been broad political support across party lines. Canadians have long called for this; and countries such as Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and many US states have proceeded along these lines.

Mr. Vellacott has been working with members of the extended divorce community to develop amendments to the Divorce Act. "The divorce community are the real experts in this field as they have first-hand experience with the strengths and weaknesses of the current legislation," he said. “The proposed amendments won’t solve all problems, but they will certainly address a major point of contention in divorce," he advised.

Equal Parenting calls for continuation of parental rights, and obligations with joint legal responsibility and joint physical custody, with the presumption that equal parenting time is the best interest of the child.

You may recall last July Parade Magazine polled readers asking: "Should Divorced Dads Have Equal Time with Their Kids?" See the results here.

These and other examples demonstrate Shared Parenting is the next family law reform.

Mike McCormick, Exec. Dir.
Your Washington DC based Shared Parenting and family law reform organization. Please support these efforts with a contribution by clicking here.

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