Sunday, April 5, 2009

In Belgium withholding a child from the other parent is considered abduction

In Belgium with their Equal Shared Parenting laws withholding a child from the other parent is considered abduction! You will go to Jail!

Shared Parenting in Belgium: The following is a quote from

"In 2006, Belgium introduced laws that make parenting time equal after separation. Listen to Dr Pascal Gallez describing to the Australian radio show, Dads on the air, how this law came about and how it is working in practice . The interview begins min.12.36 into the show."

Dr. Gallez explains that withholding a child from the other parent in their shared parenting system in Belgium is viewed as abduction and the withholding parent of either gender goes to jail. They do not recognize PA in Europe as a legally presentable disorder but their system, given its nature, should reduce it and false allegations of abuse will not have the same weight as in North America.

He indicates support is not involved unless there is a wide disparity in income when time is 50-50. If time is different than 50-50 then the parties work on the payment arrangement and present it to the judge. The judge only wants to be a rubber stamp of approval.

The child support administration moved on to do other work and does not care about the changes. Parents have adjusted to the system and are happy with it. They no longer find all the incentives to fight.

A feminist Justice Minister was involved who was divorced. She wanted her ex husband to share parenting. It was interfering with her career and so it was selfish on her part but had a positive outcome for all affected. She had a female ally in her government who helped. How did the government listen. They introduced same sex marriage as a matter of ethical government in the same fashion as Shared-Equal parenting. Bring argument with reasoning why is it good for children, parents and the government/divorce industry rather than yelling victim. The lobbying with the right government in place, in this case, a centre right party, was a catalyst, particularly given the feminist Minister's stance. Yelling victim, victim, victim was not productive. All of the above including some serendipity came together. He emphasized the importance of an ethical government.

The media was neutral. They opened up discussion with both sides. It was finally a "party" vote rather than a free vote that passed the law by 2/3 majority.

In Belgium parents have a constitutional right as parents. The state only gets involved if the parents cannot come to a decision but judges want it to be close to 50-50.

Two laws are still required 1) Against false allegations 2) paying alimony Once these laws are passed it will be better. Activism is still needed to ensure the message is sent to the government if improvements such as the two laws noted are required.

Fathers, Mothers and children are generally happy with the outcomes. Dr. Gallez recommends trying to show the Belgium example to our Government when lobbying.

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

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie