The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Shared parenting isn't always best for children > Comments

Shared parenting isn't always best for children : Comments

By Gillian Coles and Denise Rieniets, published 20/9/2004

Gillian Coles and Denise Rieniets argue that shared parenting after separation is not necessarily in the best interests of children

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
If I fought for anything on behalf of my children, after our separation, it was to avoid AT ALL COST the involvement of legal process. Family members, friends and legal advice, continued to insist that it was necessary our family end up in a court room.

I could think of nothing worse than seeing my children allocated access, and being vollied back and forth from two homes from the ages of 1 and 2. Any maintenance issues would have been unreliable and led to further disappointment. We had a business to dissolve and it appeared to me that everyone else seemed only to consider the children pawns in the game of life, to be used as negotiation tools.

I honestly believe today that despite the hardship associated with simply walking away, the children are well grounded, respectful and accepting of the abilities and limitations of both parents. They have not grown up subject to "impositions created in courtroom". Instead they have been offered the opportunity to consider and voice their own opinions, wants and needs (something NOT offered - despite pretence - to children in the court of law). They have been able to communicate their hesitations,questions, as they arise and they have not been over-ruled by a decision that took place in my life, long before the individual issues arose in THEIR lives (with the response: But.. you have to, the court has said so). I don't support shared parenting as such - I think it is a delusion, that exists sometimes even in homes in which two parents reside.

Ultimately, I think a child needs at least one stable caregiver and that relationship should be respected in the interest of the child. All other relationships (like any relationship) need to develop in line with life's developments. I don't believe that anyone in a courtroom can foresee the future, and when you take a child into a courtroom and lay his/her life upon the bench, you can only be adding dimensions that lead to potential harm. As parents we ask someone else to control the lives of our children and make the decisions about where, when and who they exist with. So many times, these decisions only provide the foundation for further animosity. They are often NOT reasonable and do not pan out as simply as stated. Kids are the ones left trying to negotiate these decisions and stretch themselves between two people, adapt to two homes and several extended family homes, mediate the disagreements that occur when two people are not permitted the space they need to let go and move on.

Children don't belong in courtrooms and all efforts should be maintained to keep them out of them at all costs. That's my take on it.
Posted by Ned, Sunday, 19 December 2004 4:17:31 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I know of a friend who was the primary caregiver of her child for seven years. The child's father had never met the child, but at birth said "if he's not being looked after I'll take him back to my country". He is a citizen of Colombia, which does not participate in the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This is significant. Parental responsibility should not be given in my view to parents who have ties to non-Hague convention countries as this presents a high risk of abdution and the child being unrecoverable.

He has made applications for, and received, contact and uses the contact to make pointed and heated verbal attacks and insults against the child's mother, and says "I'm only doing this because your mother makes me pay money for you" to the child. His campaign of blackmail persisted until under "fear of violence" provisions of the Family Law Act and Social Security Law, the Child Support Agency approved of her request to cease collection of maintenance. Later she found she couldnt manage without the CSA funds, and put them back on. Pronto, he's back in court ready to start his campaign against them again. BTW, he's also on the CSA records as non-compliant, hostile to their staff and has made lies of fact and omission to them about his financial affairs and been caught out later through tax returns. He doesn't give a damn about the child and is using contact as a weapon against the mother, who is indigent and struggling to cope as it is.
Posted by Inner-Sydney based transsexual, indigent outcast progeny of merchant family, Thursday, 15 December 2005 10:28:25 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
It is unfortunate that Ms Rieniets doesn't practice what she preaches. I had offered her client, my estranged wife, a straight up 50:50 split of the total marital assets which only needed to be negotiated as to how they were to be divided. This would have removed the need for any solicitors, save to draw up documentation to have the agreement legally binding. For one reason or another, the option to go straight to the FCA was taken, with the accusation that I would take the opportunity to abuse my estranged wife during the arbitration process, as being the reason.

This now means that both my estranged wife and I will end up with less each for the settlement, and puts us into an adversarial position from the get go.
Posted by Ticked_Off, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 4:06:34 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy