Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sandy Keith, former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Supports Shared Parenting

This video clip is from video testimony of Sandy Keith, former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court for 8 years in the 1990s. Judge Keith supports shared parenting. The video was prepared as a statement of support for Colorado legislation providing for a rebuttable presumption that custody of children should be shared between parents.

Unfortunately, the legislation didn’t pass. It apparently was defeated by the divorce lobby and nonsensical financial projections.

Judge Keith believes that presumed shared parenting would be beneficial to families and children and reduce litigation:

“It is difficult for me to see how one can come up with these figures” on probable impact of the bill. “I believe this presumption (in favor of shared parenting) will help settle at least 25 to 30 percent of all child custody cases. The attorneys will begin to concentrate on how these two parents will parent their children in two separate homes instead of trying to prove who is the better parent. I rarely had a contested custody case in which both parents weren’t good parents and that is why they were contesting custody. I have been involved in over 1,200 divorces. This bill is a step in the right direction.”

The Next Generation of F4J Superheroes Leads Inaugural Action

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Rob Robinson
Phone: 1-778-549-7046

April 25, 2009

For Immediate Release April 25, 2009
The Next Generation of F4J Superheroes Leads Inaugural Action

At 3pm in New Westminster BC, F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada announces their first low level action led by Katy, a 16 year old girl and the next generation of F4J Fathers 4 Justice Superhero. Katy will lead a small group of demonstrators on the pedestrian overpass located kitty corner to the #22 skytrain station.

"We always think about the adults during a separation because they have a voice, but we forget about the kids. Katy has a unique story and she deserves support from someone. We understand how she feels not having her Dad and her identity and want to give her the venue to speak her mind," says Kris Titus, National Coordinator.

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada welcomes Katy as a representative of their JR Justice League, a section of the group dedicated to the efforts of great kids across Canada who have come out to try and make a difference for other kids who live the effects of broken homes. She is one of several up and coming Superheros in the organizations fight for equal parenting and truth, justice and equality in family law.

"You think we're bad, wait until you have to deal with our kids. There is a whole generation of children who will soon be adults that feel ripped off by the justice system in this country. Although it would be irresponsible for us to allow them to do real Superhero actions, we must do all we can to provide them a safe way to get their message out. Kids need two parents," says Titus.

"Katy is a very special girl. She is very intelligent and committed despite never having a proper education and she's a girl that will beat all odds, just the type of person F4J is looking for," says Rob Robinson, National Action Coordinator and mentor to Katy.

In Katy's own words, "And most importantly, it is my right to have a name, a nation and an identity. I want to help other kids so they don’t feel so alone and not to ever give up on their Fathers because as we get older we can make our own choices without the courts. Sadly we lose a lot of years this way until the courts start listening to the children, but I guess we’re just going to have to talk louder."

So how loud will Katy have to talk before the government's decide to listen?

You can read Katy's story on the groups JR Justice League page at

CONTACT: National Action Coordinator, Rob Robinson

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:


F4J - ACTION Batman atop Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria BC

Greetings all from one very tired Batman.

This morning long before the sun arose the Burnaby Batman with the help of his trusted comrades scaled the Johnson street bridge in Victoria BC in protest. Our objective was to draw attention to parental alienation and present our take on the current political parties running in the up coming BC election on May 12/09.
From the front of the Johnson street bridge we unfurled a 20 foot by 16 foot banner that read "BC Liberals Alienating Families Since 2001". On the rear of the bridge we hung a 8 by 10 No Dads Party banner and on the side of the bridge a banner that read"Save Katy".

Batman remained upon the structure in protest for a couple of hours before police arrived upon the scene. After brief negotiations with authorities who were now ontop of the bridge with the Bat, Batman agreed to come down without incident if they allowed his banners to remain aloft for the rest of the weekend, which they agreed upon and to allow the Bat to leave without arrest. Which they also agreed upon. Truth is the officers involved were very friendly and supportive. Even after I had asked them if they intended to taser me,lol. Batman and Robin were then able to catch the 9 am ferry home and will be attending the Vancouver low level action at 3 pm in New Westminster BC.

One of my most memorable memories from this action was speaking with the Ontario Bat Girl who at the time was upon her lofty perch in Cooks town while I was upon my lofty perch upon the Johnson street bridge. Too cool.
Anyways I have attached some photos of today's event along with this message and more updates and pictures from all the actions will soon be made available.

Many thanks to all who participated and helped out behind the scenes.

The Burnaby Batman

Newspaper reports wrong SuperHero Arrested - Looks like Bat Girl from here

Alliston Herald

'Cat Woman' arrested after publicity stunt
A firefighter escorts a woman dressed as Cat Woman down from the water tower at the Cookstown Outlet Mall Saturday. She scaled the tower to hang a protest banner.
April 25, 2009

A woman dressed as Cat Woman climbed to the top of the water tower at the Cookstown Outlet Mall Saturday afternoon and unfurled a banner in the name of Fathers for Justice.

Firefighters from Bradford West Gwillimbury used an aerial ladder truck to climb to an upper platform of the tower to bring the unidentified woman down.

Before the ladder was raised a lone firefighter climbed up the tower’s metal and spoke with the woman for about 10 minutes.

A large banner the woman hung from the side of the tower, which overlooks Highway 400, proclaimed the cause of Fathers for Justice, a group that has criticized Ontario’s Family Court system as being unfair to divorced fathers.

The banner read: Parental Alienation Awareness; Love is For Everyone.

The woman was escorted down the fire truck’s ladder as dozens of mostly bemused spectators looked on.

When she reached the parking lot she was immediately arrested by South Simcoe Police officers, who escorted her to a waiting cruiser.

A mall maintenance worker said it wasn’t clear how the woman managed to access the tower’s ladder to carry the large banner to the top.

The ladder is locked from the bottom and is raised six feet from the ground for safety reasons

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council Recognizes Parental Alienation

Pour diffusion immédiate Le 25 avril 2009


Avril est le Mois national de la prévention de l’abus et de la violence faite aux enfants. Le Conseil canadien pour le rôle parental égal se joint aux Canadiens d'un océan à l'autre et reconnaît que le 25 avril devient la « Journée de sensibilisation à l'aliénation parentale ».

L'aliénation parentale, la volonté délibérée d'éloignement d’un enfant en raison d'actions de l'autre parent, est un sujet de plus en plus d’actualité dans les médias qui font état de ses effets néfastes sur les enfants.

Le Conseil canadien pour le rôle parental égal est fier de compter l'un de ses directeurs comme conférencier lors du récent colloque canadien sur le syndrome d'aliénation parentale, une conférence de trois jours qui s'est tenue à Toronto, du 27 au 29 mars 2009. Me Gene Colman, avocat en droit de la famille, a présenté ses dernières recherches où la justice a reconnu l'apparition d’incidents d'aliénation parentale. Me Colman a établi que les tribunaux reconnaissent maintenant plus souvent l'aliénation d'un parent et prennent des mesures pour la corriger.

L'honorable juge John Gomery, dans un cas au Québec, a déclaré: «La haine n'est pas une émotion qui vient naturellement à un enfant. Elle lui est enseignée".

Selon le Dr. Amy Baker, l'aliénation parentale est une forme sévère de la violence psychologique faite aux enfants, eux qui ont déjà subi une perte importante à la suite de l'éclatement de la famille. L’avenir de la santé mentale des enfants exige que ceux-ci construisent et maintiennent des relations significatives avec leurs deux parents pour atténuer le traumatisme du divorce chez eux.

La prévention de l’aliénation parentale est absolument nécessaire.

Le Conseil canadien pour le rôle parental égal est un ardent défenseur de l'égalité parentale présomptive comme mesure de prévention.

Nous félicitons tous les représentants politiques municipaux et provinciaux qui ont officiellement proclamé le 25 avril la « Journée de sensibilisation à l'aliénation parentale ».

Cette journée est une étape dans la bonne direction, vers l'éducation et l'acceptation de l’égalité parentale.

CONTACT Canadian Equal Parenting Council Co-Presidents

George Piskor – gwpiskorATcanadianepcdotcom (H) 905-354-7258

Kristin Titus – (H) 905-987-5777

For immediate release April 25, 2009

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council Recognizes Parental Alienation

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Canadian Equal Parenting Council joins Canadians from coast to coast in recognizing April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

Parental Alienation, the deliberate estrangement of a child from a parent due to actions of the another parent, is a subject receiving growing attention in the media as the full weight of its detrimental effects on children become more obvious to us all.

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council was proud to have one of its Directors as a presenter at the recent Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome, a three-day Conference held in Toronto March 27 – 29, 2009. Family Law lawyer Gene Colman presented his recent research findings on the occurrences of judicial recognition and response to incidents of parental alienation and has documented that the courts are recognizing alienation of a parent more frequently and taking measures to correct it.

The Honorable Justice John Gomery in a leading case in Quebec said, “Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught.”

According to Dr. Amy Baker, parental alienation is a form of severe emotional abuse of children, who have already suffered a major loss as a result of the breakdown of the family. Children’s future mental health requires that they have strong relationships with both of their parents to mitigate the trauma of divorce on them. .

What is desperately needed is prevention.

The Canadian Equal Parenting Council is a strong advocate for a legal presumption of equal parenting as a preventative.

We applaud all the political representatives at the municipal and provincial levels who have officially proclaimed April 25th Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

It is worth noting this special day as a step in the right direction, towards education and acceptance.

CONTACT Canadian Equal Parenting Co-Presidents

George Piskor – gwpiskorATcanadianepcdotcom (H) 905-354-7258

Kristin Titus – (H) 905-987-5777

This message was sent from George Piskor to It was sent from: CEPC, 5767 Summer St., Niagara Falls, ON L2G 1M5, Canada. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

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Mid Sussex Today

SUSSEX fathers' rights campaigners have welcomed a change in the law which will see family courts opened to the media.

From Monday (April 27) family court hearings, which include divorce and custody battles, will be open to accredited reporters.

Courts will have discretion to restrict attendance, or restrict what can be reported, for child welfare reasons or to protect witnesses.

Campaign group New Fathers 4 Justice say the change is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to make the courts transparent and accountable.

A New Fathers 4 Justice Sussex spokesman commented: "We still have a long way to go.

"We do welcome the new change, but are fighting to get to fully open courts, where the judge has no option but to let in the media.

"These cases need exposing, and the injustice can stop as they will then be held accountable for their actions.

"We want to make people aware of this so they know they can now invite the media to court with them.

"Thousands of dads, grandparents etc have been stripped of their children for no reason by this system for years.

"In this supposed world of equality this needs to end now."

New Fathers 4 Justice also want the law to change so that, when parents separate, there is a presumption that they will have equal contact rights.

They say thousands of children suffer when one parent, usually the father, is cut out of their lives without good reason.

For more information on the group, visit

The full article contains 269 words and appears in Sussex Express Series newspaper.
Page 1 of 1

  • Last Updated: 24 April 2009 1:55 PM
  • Source: Sussex Express Series
  • Location: Lewes

F4J - ACTION IN PROGRESS Batman atop Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria BC

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Hal Legere
Phone: 778-837-1224

April 25, 2009

For Immediate Release April 25, 2009

Batman atop Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria BC

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada, known for their high flying political actions today put Burnaby Batman atop the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria BC to declare that Liberals have been alienating families in the province since 2001 and the NDP are the No Dads Party.

The seasoned superhero veterans are pointing at the Provincial Liberals and NDP who have been more than lax on the issue of family law reform. Batman has participated in many high profile actions on behalf of Canadian children, including the commandeering of the Saskatchewan Legislature in 2008.

Halfway across the country in Alliston ON, Batgirl raises awareness for parental alienation and the need to love everyone at the Cookstown Outlet Mall.

On Parental Alienation Day we need all elected officials from every party and at every level standing up and paying attention. The situation in separated families in this country is unacceptable. The current family law regime leaves the door wide open for the manipulation of children as pawns in a battle that noone wins, least of all the children.

"When you hear the stories we hear, on a daily basis, you will understand why we must do what we do. Until there is a presumption of equal parenting in law we will be compelled to use the spotlight of the media to raise awareness. Children don't care if you're a Liberal, an NDP or a Conservative. They care that they have the full and continuous love and support of their parents as they traverse life," says Hal Legere, the groups Vice President and Legal Director.

Burnaby Batman also hangs a special flag, two simple words, "SAVE KATY". To read more about Katy and how she missed out on a Dad and an identity on our JR Justice League page.
A very recent Nanos poll supports the groups claims there is strong public support for the idea of equal parenting in law with 78% of Canadians supporting a presumption.

"We need people to write their MPs, MPPs and MLAs about the need for equal parenting today as a presumption in law." Only then will Batman be able to retire.

CONTACT: Hal Legere, Legal Director 778-837-1224

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:

ACTION IN PROGRESS F4J Bat Girl climbs Water tower

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Hal Legere
Phone: 778-837-1224

April 25, 2009

For Immediate Release April 25, 2009

F4J Bat Girl climbs Water tower

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada, known for their high flying political expressions today launched a new superhero high in the sky over the ever popular Cookstown Outlet Mall in Ontario at the 400 & Highway 87. She sits atop the 100' water tower ready to greet the Saturday crowds on Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

Bat Girl is the second female superhero to act on behalf of the organization in a high profile stunt that freely expresses the groups political beliefs regarding family law.
In recognition of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, she hangs a banner choosing LIFE. An acronym for Love Is For Everyone.

A mother, grandmother and second wife, Bat Girl realizes that in real life we don't have nine lives, and with our children we must get it right the first time. Parents are too important to be swept aside when parents separate.
The new heroine wants to spread the message as far and wide as possible that the alienation of children is unacceptable and that we must choose love as the first emotion not hate.

"I am fighting for truth, justice and equality alongside other everyday people who can't stand to see the destruction of children any longer," says Bat Girl.

Watch the skies, there's a report that Batman has been sited.

CONTACT: Hal Legere, Legal Director

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:

F4J Canada ~ April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

1-888-F4J Canada

Press release

Contact: Kris Titus
Phone: 1-888-345-2262 ext. 703

April 24, 2009

For Immediate Release April 24, 2009
April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

This year represents the 4th annual parental alienation awareness day. A day that receives more recognition each year and deservedly so.

F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada recently sent two of their Directors to attend the Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome.

The Directors of our group recognize the signs and behaviors all too well.
"We've become complacent in society. when we see a parent being belittled on the tv or in cartoons, we think it's funny. I assure you that the real life alienation of a child/parent relationship is tragic," says Kris Titus, National Coordinator for F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada.

The organization receives calls and email from parents across the country who are being alienated from their children. Denial of access is a weapon of choice in family law disputes and affords a custodial parent uninterrupted time to influence the child.

Mike Murphy, a Fathers 4 Justice Director says, "Parental Alienation is a tragic form of child abuse and can result directly from our current dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW) court system. It pits one parent against the other with the prize being the children. We need a presumption of equal parenting to help minimize the conflict and help the children. Its all about our children."
Mike runs a blog about parental alienation that is currently receiving almost 5000 hits per month.

Dr. Marty McKay said it very well at the Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation, "Anything not joint physical custody is moving towards alienation."

A warning we should all heed.

CONTACT: Nationally, Kris Titus 1-888-F4J Canada
( 1-888-345-2262 ) ext. 703

National Website for more information about F4J Fathers 4 Justice Canada Canada:

National Action website:

That toxic tug-of-war

Globe essay

In a custody battle, making peace is more important than being right. Indeed, the very notion of 'parental alienation' glosses over whose rights are at issue — namely, the child's

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Several recent court cases have focused on the serious problem of parental alienation. Although many are hearing about it for the first time, it has always been a prevalent concern in high-conflict custody litigation.

Mental-health professionals debate the definition of parental alienation, and whether it is a clinical "syndrome," but few would disagree that the problem exists. In simple terms, "parental alienation" refers to a parent's persistent campaign of denigrating the other parent to their child (sometimes called "brainwashing" or "poisoning" the child against the other parent), which causes the child to unjustifiably reject the other parent.

Alienating conduct can take many forms: badmouthing the other parent's personality and conduct; portraying the other parent as dangerous, abusive or as having abandoned or not loving the child; withdrawing love and affection from a child who expresses positive feelings about the other parent; and denying the other parent contact with the child. While some mean by "parental alienation" only the misconduct of custodial parents, we judges often see high-conflict cases where both parents badmouth each other to the children, cruelly placing them in conflicts of loyalty. Moreover, such conduct is not in the exclusive domain of mothers or fathers; both engage in it.

In my view, the term "parental alienation" incorrectly identifies the target parent as the victim. The true victims are the children, who are innocent in parental break-ups. Every child has a right to enjoy a loving relationship with both parents. Since it is the child's right that is being violated by a parent's alienating behaviour, it is the child who is being alienated from the other parent. However you name it, there is no doubt that children are at risk of emotional harm when they become weapons, pawns and spies for bitter, angry, vengeance-seeking parents who turn custody disputes into battles for power and control — battles that often focus entirely on the parents' needs and not at all on the children's.

There is widespread dissatisfaction among parents with the family justice system. Among the most angry are non-custodial parents desperately seeking to enforce access to their children. Judges hear daily from heartbroken parents who say that the legal system vigorously enforces child support but does not care about enforcing access. I see their point, but it troubles me when people liken the enforcement of a parent-child relationship to the collection of a debt. Children are not pieces of property that can be "seized" or "garnisheed"; they are vulnerable human beings. Decisions affecting a child's emotional well-being must be carefully made, always with a view to making a child's life better, not worse.

Non-custodial parents routinely allege parental alienation when access is denied. The court must first decide if the allegation is valid. Family dynamics are layered and complex, and it is no simple task to find out why a child is refusing to see a non-custodial parent. What is the child's age and stage of development? Does the child have independent reasons stemming from memories of events before the break-up, or relating to the way access is occurring? Has the child been coached, bribed, threatened or manipulated to express negative views about the access parent? Family courts often require the assistance of assessments from psychologists or social workers. This can take time, which intensifies the problem if alienation is occurring.

If the court finds that alienation is causing a denial of access, what are its options? Sometimes supervised access will take place at an access centre, where trained staff observe the quality of parent-child interactions. Or a court could order police to enforce access. While this can be effective, the police exercise discretion in enforcement, and are understandably reluctant to "arrest" children and drag them kicking and screaming to visits with parents they are adamantly refusing to see. As difficult as this may be for some parents to accept, a child's negative feelings about a parent are real and true for the child, however unjustified these feelings may be.


A second possibility is to find an alienating parent in contempt of court and impose a fine or jail sentence. This can be effective, but there is a serious risk of backfire. When a custodial parent conveys to an alienated child that the other parent has caused financial hardship because of the fine, the child's negative feelings toward the non-custodial parent can intensify. Even worse, a child whose custodial parent says, "Your mom/dad sent me to jail," may see the custodial parent as a martyr, and become even angrier at the non-custodial parent. Moreover, when a custodial parent goes to jail, the other parent does not automatically get custody; the children's aid society may have to intervene to determine a proper placement for the child during the parent's absence. Some children end up in foster care during this period, and are unforgiving toward the parent they believe put them there. I have seen more than my share of non-custodial parents who "won the battle but lost the war."

Court proceedings are not conducive to peacemaking; they tend to increase acrimony between parents, which is bad for children. Many non-custodial parents simply walk away from an impossible situation, devastated to lose contact with their children, but consoled to know that their children's exposure to a toxic tug-of-war is over. If this happens, custodial parents should know that their "victory" may be short-lived. Adult children often seek out estranged parents and assess the situation for themselves, with an independent mind and open heart. A custodial parent who has selfishly cut the other parent out of their child's life may end up being the excluded one when the child grows up and learns the truth.

Another option is to suspend or terminate child support. After all, if a non-custodial parent is being deprived of the right to see the child, why should he or she have to pay support? Proponents of this argument forget that access is the child's right, as is the right to be financially supported. If the child is being victimized by not getting to see a parent, it does not help the child to also be deprived of the right to be supported by that parent. The law must be child-focused. Children must be fed, clothed and housed even if they are being deprived of a relationship with an alienated parent. Two wrongs do not make a right. The only cases I am aware of where a court suspended or terminated child support for a minor child because of parental alienation, are cases where the custodial parent's financial circumstances guaranteed no reduction in the child's standard of living even without child support. Different considerations might apply for adult children seeking continued support from alienated and blameless parents, but for minor children it is highly unlikely that a child's financial lifeline will be compromised as a remedy for parental alienation.

In some alienation cases, the children's aid society intervenes to protect children from emotional harm. If the children are lucky, the parents may be amenable to counselling to overcome their emotional baggage, so they can reinvent themselves from ex-partners to co-parents. In some cases a relative will offer a suitable parenting plan that insulates the children from the toxic parental conflict. Sadly, in other cases, children end up in foster care, as this is the only way they can have peace and neutrality in their lives.

In severe cases, can the court simply change custody from the alienating to the alienated parent? Yes, but only if, in all the circumstances, it would be in the child's best interests. The alienated parent must establish that he or she can best meet all of the child's needs. This can be a very difficult hurdle for an alienated parent who has had little or no contact with the child for some time. If custody is to change, intensive counselling and therapy are almost always ordered. Some therapy programs are more intrusive, lengthy and costly than others — and there is no guarantee of success. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the emotional health and well-being of parents and children.


Could parental alienation be avoided by ordering joint custody with 50-50 shared parenting in every case? Should courts divide up the elements of custody to create parallel parenting regimes? Many say yes. Judges say it depends on the individual circumstances of each case. Experts tell us that many alienating parents are suffering from personality disorders, and would not be amenable to a co-parenting arrangement. After 14 years on the bench, I seriously doubt a court order can make immature non-communicative parents become child-focused and treat each other with mutual respect, for their child's sake. But I have seen it happen. Judges try their best to do what is right for children, given the often incomplete and conflicting evidence we get.

I believe that family counselling and therapy are the most important resources that separated parents need to overcome their pain and anger. Parents must carefully consider the impact of their behaviour on their children — and become aware of the potentially devastating consequences to themselves and their children of high-conflict litigation. Reaching compromise and making peace for the sake of your children are more important than being right. Having healthy, well-adjusted and happy children is more important than getting revenge. Parents can have new partners, but no child gets a second childhood. Children learn about relationships and parenting from observing their own parents. No one should forget this.

Harvey Brownstone is a family court judge in Toronto and the author of Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court.

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

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie