This is an important episode. Terry Brennan, co-founder of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, an activist organization responsible for introducing legislation in 20 states, that makes equal, shared parenting the presumption in family court. This is a critical issue for children, who suffer from absentee fathers in alarming figures, as well as men, who are automatically reduced to paychecks and an afterthought in family life. Shared parenting is critical for women, too, as involved co-parents, both inside and outside of marriage, mean women have far more support at home, which allows us to thrive as parents, as well as professionals and earners. After all, we can’t be equals at work, if men are not equals at home.
In this episode, Terry Brennan and I discuss shared parenting:
- There are 43 academics papers support shared parenting for children of divorced or separated parents.
- In cases where ‘standard’ visitation is awarded — every-other-weekend — fathers become depressed and non-involved, and within 3 years, one study found, 40 percent of children in an unequal visitation arrangement had lost complete touch with their non-custodial parents, which are nearly always the father.
- Research finds that a minimum of 35 percent of kids’ time with both parent is required to bond with a parent. Anything less robs children an opportunity to truly bond with the parent.
- Lack of shared parenting linked to every major social pathology in the United States.
- Extended families of both parents have the right to be part of children’s lives.
- Of course abuse and neglect cases are the exception.
- The shared parenting movement has become mainstream, supported by as many women as men, with 20 shared parenting bills around the country, with passed laws in Utah, Missouri, South Dakota and Arizona.
- “Fathers who get involved from the get-go are far more involved, while those who are marginalized become distant parents and are marginalized further.”
- If courts stop asking parents to argue for their children, and start assuming that they are both competent people, parents form a more amicable and collaborative co-parenting relationship, which results in more involved fathers and happier children.
- In Australia, after the implementation of shared parenting laws nationally, 73 percent fewer parents went to lawyers to resolve co-parenting issues, and just as many parents sought out counseling to resolve issues.
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