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Child custody, access and parental responsibility : the search for a just and equitable standard

Author: Edward Kruk; Father Involvement Research Alliance.
Publisher: [Guelph, Ont.] : Father Involvement Research Alliance, 2008
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English
Summary:
Child custody and access law and policy remain among the most contentious areas of family law and family practice. A rights-based discourse dominates the field; the "best interests of the child" standard has historically reflected a struggle between mothers' and fathers' rights, with children's needs considered to be commensurate with either position. Children are viewed at different times as fathers' property, as
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Edward Kruk; Father Involvement Research Alliance.
OCLC Number: 654778066
Description: 1 online resource (xi, 84 pages)
Contents: Executive summary. 1. Introduction. 10. Specific challenges and recommendations. Post-traumatic stress --
Child support --
False or exaggerated allegations, and false denials --
Civil restraining orders and access supervision --
Abduction and parental alienation --
Unrepresented litigants --
Public awareness and support --
Six key policy recommendations. 2. The needs of children during and after parental separation, and parental and social institutional responsibilities. 3. Family violence and child abuse. General family violence research --
Research on family violence in child custody situations. 4. Research on Canadian child custody outcomes. Statistics Canada data --
Court file analysis data --
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. 5. Child custody legislation in Canada. U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child --
Federal legislation --
Provincial/territorial legislation. 6. Government research reports on and proposed changes to child custody law and policy. Special Joint Committee Report --
Response to the Special Joint Committee Report. 7. International child custody policy. United States --
United Kingdom --
France --
Sweden --
Australia. 8. Child custody policy debates. Problems with the sole custody model --
Shared parental responsibility as a viable alternative. 9. A "four pillar" approach to child custody and access determination in Canada. Pillar 1. Harm reduction : legal presumption of shared parental responsibility --
Pillar 2. Treatment : parenting plans, mediation, and support/intervention in high conflict cases --
Pillar 3. Prevention : shared parenting education --
Pillar 4. Enforcement : judicial determination in established cases of abuse; enforcement of shared parental responsibility orders. Preface. References.
Responsibility: Edward Kruk.
More information:

Abstract:

Child custody and access law and policy remain among the most contentious areas of family law and family practice. A rights-based discourse dominates the field; the "best interests of the child" standard has historically reflected a struggle between mothers' and fathers' rights, with children's needs considered to be commensurate with either position. Children are viewed at different times as fathers' property, as requiring the "tender care" of mothers, and as rightfully "belonging" to one or the other parent.

Unlike previous examinations of child custody and access in Canada, this paper proceeds from the perspective that the "best interests of the child" during and after parental separation are, essentially, a matter of recognizing and addressing the child's most fundamental needs in this time of family transition. These needs are, according to child development experts, best addressed by supporting parents in the fulfillment of their parental responsibilities, a goal to which social institutions such as legislatures and the judiciary are bound. Such a focus on children's needs, parental responsibilities, and the responsibilities of social institutions to support parents in meeting their parental obligations is largely absent in current Canadian socio-legal discourse. This paper aims to shift the current rights-based discourse of Canadian feminist and fathers' rights groups to a responsibility-based framework focused on children's needs.

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