Submissions to Government (back)
MESA's Submissions to the Parliamentary Committee on Custody and
Canada has a long history of using the gender of the parent to guide custody
decisions. This gender preference is created and led by judges in courtrooms.
Yet the evidence does not support one sex having innately superior parenting
abilities. In fact, the reliance on gender to determine custody may contribute
to negative outcomes for children by failing to provide the best available
parent. We have two populations of parents, with equal distributions of
parenting skills, but we only select from one of these populations. This
leads to outcomes that are not in the best interest of children. In the
last decade, this sexism has markedly increased, after judges were taught
that women seeking custody were at a disadvantage in the courtroom.
Fathers who wish to parent their children post-divorce today face a
situation even more pronounced than women entering the workforce only a
few decades ago. Improvements for the children of divorce and their parents
CAN be facilitated by some of the following actions:
Amending judicial bias seminars to reflect the reality of divorcing fathers.
- judges must learn that fathers almost never receive custody in a court
of law and that this is not in the best interests of children
A program of affirmative action within the judicial system to encourage
the awarding of children to fathers.
An agency to monitor shared parenting arrangements, with a mandate to balance
parenting time and deal with parental alienation. Access denied should
be restored two-fold. GENTLE tactics, such as phone calls, monitoring,
supervision and counseling should be the tools of choice here.
A section added to the divorce act that overtly states that both sexes
have equal ability to parent their children post-divorce.
A legal action fund to enable fathers to legally challenge their longstanding
historical disadvantages in family law.