Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Equal Parenting (EP) Amendment for Divorce Act

As many of you know, MP Maurice VELLACOTT introduced his PMB C422 Equal Parenting Amendment in Parliament just before the summer recess on June 16. Here are some of the reasons CEPC* gave to support EP. Here is a copy of the Hansard and a backgrounder.

Australia introduced a new Family Law Act in 2006 that included the presumption of Equal Parenting. Here is an interview with Chief Justice Diana BRYANT of the Australian Family Court on how their experience is going.

Many men's groups have been pressing for EP in the hopes that it will create a better climate between couples who split up. Currently mothers achieve sole/joint custody with primary residence in something like 90% of contested divorces.

Dr. Edward Kruk of FIRA (Father Research Involvement Institute) based in Guelph ON also released a report that reviewed recent academic Literature which notes the vitally important role of fathers in their childrens lives, and advocates for correcting imbalances that have seen their role minimized or excluded.

*Canadian Equal Parenting Council
Fathers have be marginalized from their children's lives by our Family Law (FLAW) process. We think the evidence has been growing for decades but no one has had the political will to make change happen.

Here are some international statistics that indicate the harm to children when their fathers are not included in their lives. They show a litany of social mis-behaviours that threatens our very social fabric.
How much evidence do we need to take action in reforming Family Law.

[Addendum: July 29 - I encourage everyone to write letters of Support for C422 to your MP's, Senators and MLA's. (Admittedly, the MLA's will claim it is not their responsibility, but I suggest you ask them to consider similar changes to the various provincial Family Law Acts that affect common-law relationships.) To help kickstart this effort, here is a draft letter (in RTF format - just add your MP/Senator/MLA's name + your contact information) and link to Parliaments MP's/Senators contact info - they also are in the sidebar along with links to all Provincial/Territorial Government MLA's/members.

Things to remember for effective communication with your MP/MLA:

1) Include your address + tel# so they can keep track of your comment/complaint.
2) Keep letter short and to the point - 1 page and no more than 3 points.
3) Tell them a solution/response/action you want taken.

Remember that a any Canadian can send a letter to his/her MP without postage simply by addressing to any MP/Senator at: House of Commons/The Senate, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6. I have found such a method will always get a reply/response (although it can take a long time). If you send to a constituency office, you will have to apply a stamp.]

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