Monday

NO Presumption of a Right to Equal Time-Sharing

Florida Bill Addresses Equal Parenting Time When Parents Separate

Demand Family Court Reform Florida - 2015

Children of divorced parents are better adjusted when mom and dad get equal time with their kids. That is the conclusion and basis of a bill working its way through the Florida Legislature" Florida Legislature that would change the way courts calculate time-sharing when couples call it quits.

causes.com/causes/409526-children-s-rights
causes.com/causes/409526-children-s-rights
"I didn't like it. I didn't think it was right. I didn't think it was fair," said Terrence Bostic. It's the way he felt 28 years ago when the court made, what Bostic felt, was an unfair assumption that his now ex-wife should be awarded primary custody of their daughter.

"Because I thought, 'I was just as good a parent as she was, if not better.'" Three years later, Bostic's ex-wife moved away with their daughter. Three years after that, he went back to court to regain custody.

Now, under a proposed change to Florida's divorce law, judges may have a little leeway when giving divorcing parents anything other than equal time with their kids.
The assumption?

"That it is better for the children to have both parents equally involved in their lives," said Family Law Attorney Peter Farren with the Valrico law firm, Gallo Farren.
Courts must work toward a shared parenting norm – Miami Herald
Farren posted the proposed change on his Facebook page Wednesday, and spoke with us about the pros and cons such a law could present.

On one hand, he says, it would give parents – often the father – a presumption of a right to equal time with their kids.
"We're definitely in different times now," said Farren, "And these generations of fathers are just as involved, in many cases, with their children."
But critics say in some cases the law will force couples back to court, asking a judge to amend their equal-parenting plan for several possible reasons.

Work schedules. Challenges getting the kids to school.

There are also more serious factors to consider, said Farren. "If there's a psychological issue, or a drug issue, or if one parent is just refusing to cooperate and communicate with the other parent."
The Senate bill’s sponsor provides that judges weighing time share would still be able to use the same 20 criteria they currently have at their disposal to decide what's in the children's interest.

The change, they say, would start with the presumption that an equal 50-50 split is what's best.

"I think you can't get any fairer than that," said Bostic, it would've been a lot easier on me."

The law would apply equally in cases where the parents are not married.

So far, the bill has moved its way through the State Senate, not get making its way to the House.

To see the full text of the proposed law, click here.
Supporters say equal time with parents is what's best for children of divorce.

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Sunday

Child custody and time-sharing; the relationship continues

Who is going to have custody of children when the couple separate or divorce? This decision has to be made along with, how the children will be taken care of and the visitation, the how of each parent spending time with the children. Relationships cause connectedness and there are orders to abide by. There are two types of custody orders.

There is Legal custody. The parent who has the custody will be important decision maker about the child’s health care, doctor, dentist, orthodontist, psychiatric, mental health counseling, therapy,educationreligious activities or institutions, welfare, school, childcare, sports, summer camp, vacation, or extracurricular activitiestravel, and place of residence.

There is also physical custody, ordering with whom the child will live. In joint custody the child can live with both. Under sole or primary custody the child will live with one parent much of the time and visits the other parent usually. There are cases of judges allowing parents joint legal custody and not joint physical custody, both parents share the responsibility in important decision making and the child lives with one parent and the other receives visitation right.

There is visitation plan to prevent and reduce confusion, anger and further conflict. Under supervised visitation, when the child's safety and well-being is at issue or if the child and the other parent would need gradual exposure, it is supervised by custodial parent, an adult, a professional agency or a mental health counselor. There is also a “no visitation” rule about that, even if with supervision, physical and/or emotional welfare of the child can be jeopardized. When visitation, custody or time share plan is drawn the above issues are clarified.
There are visitation guidelines, also known as time-share. Here a plan is set about how the both parents will share the time with the children. Either one (sole custody) or both parents (called shared custody) can have custody. Under normal circumstances, the judge consorts about arrangements with the parents and reaches a final decision about custody and visitation. If there is disagreement between the parents the judge will make that decision at a hearing. There is usually a mediator about custody and visitation. The family court services provide the mediator for the parents to reconcile.

Custody and visitation is decided considering the best interest of the child’s health, safety and wellbeing. Here history of abuse by either or both parents is considered.

Saturday

Fathers should be present at birth.

In a world where absent fathers have become somewhat of a norm. Debrah Lewis provides viewers with some very insightful comments into why fathers might be absent throughout the life of their children. In this talk she outlines the role of the father in the childbirth process and the shortcomings of a system that does not offer fathers with opportunities to be fully engaged parents from birth to adulthood. We ask fathers to be involved in the life of their child, but deny them the right to be at the starting line, the birth. This talk asks to rethink the role of masculinity in the childbirth experience. 

Debrah Lewis is the first Vice President of the International Confederation of Midwives from the Caribbean. After receiving an MSc in Nurse-Midwifery from Columbia University in 1986, she worked in New York as a public and private practice midwife and also volunteered in Africa. Lewis' leadership led to the formation of the Caribbean Regional Midwifery Association and the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Midwives. She is passionate about strengthening the network of midwives in the Caribbean and ultimately, the world.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Wednesday

Taking away a man's children is inhumane.

BELLEVILLE ~ A former police constable is hoping to raise awareness about parental alienation
– a form of abuse that can have devastating impacts on children.

Miranda Orr, a former police officer in Belleville, recently joined Parental Alienation Awareness Organization — a group that aims to educate the public and professionals about prevention of, and responses to, parental alienation, according to their website. 

The act refers to the alienation of one parent by the other — typically going through a separation or divorce — through manipulating the child or children involved in the family. The behaviours generally involve the mental manipulation and/or bullying of the child to pick between one parent or the other.
“This is happening in our community, children across the globe are experiencing this,” 

said Orr Monday.





“It’s actually a huge, growing phenomena. Children develop all kinds of self esteem issues, depression is a common one.” 

These behaviours can also result in destroying a loving and warm relationship they once shared with a parent. 

The organization, based in Toronto, works to create awareness in the courts, with judges, lawyers, police officers and children’s services.
As explained on the PAAO website, parental alienation and hostile aggressive parenting deprive children of their right to be loved by and showing love for both of their parents and extended family. It can occur in intact families, but is mostly seen in separated and divorced families.
Orr joined the organization about a year ago. Through her lengthy career as a police officer she witnessed various forms of emotional abuse


She decided to get involved after realizing many people are not aware of parental alienation and do not know that it is a form of emotional abuse. 

To help increase awareness, she is working on organizing an event this April. 

April 25 is recognized as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. On this day, people are encouraged to take part in “Bubbles for Love” by blowing bubbles for 10 minutes at noon, to recognize parental alienation and the affected children. 

Locally, Orr, along with an organizing committee, is hosting an event on April 10 to make bubbles available to those interested in doing a Bubbles of Love day. 

“We will be doing a family fun barbeque, we’ll be have a petting zoo, bouncy castle. We’ll also be handing out cases of bubbles to companies, organizations, or schools that want to participate in Bubbles of Love.
The event will take place at West Zwick’s Centennial Park Lions pavilion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Orr has created a Facebook page, Bubbles of Love Day Quinte, where people can find information or contact organizers. 

More information about parental alienation can be found at: www.paawareness.org 

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