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Hi there,
I had an Expert Witness Report handed down in court a couple of weeks ago and the Psychiatrist found no evidence of neglect or abuse or even the mental illness that my ex has alledged. We've been in court since August 2010.

He made recommendations which eventually lead up to a shared care (week about) by the time our son starts school which will be in 2013. I requested the periodic increase so it would be easier on my son.

My ex has agreed to the first two recommendations of the time increasing but won't agree to equal shared care. His barrister approached me before going in to court to tell me that it is not in the best interest of my son to go to school from two homes. She quoted some report by a child psychologist Dr McIntosh. She said that once my son was 12 then we could look at a shared care arrangement!!

So we're going to go to a full trial/hearing

Would anyone know of any reports that show otherwise. I have searched but could not find any. There are some on here that I can't seem to download it just goes to a blank page.

I feel as though I'm way out my depth and am self representing.

The thought of having to cross-examine my ex and the Psychiatrist scares me and I don't know if I'll be able to do it.

I am not entitled to legal aid but can't afford a private solicitor let alone barrister. I spoke to a Community Legal Centre over the phone today who basically said that if I can't afford it then tough luck!

She then referred me to the Law Society where they have a Pro Bono Scheme where you can apply for assistance.
She suggested I reduce my hours at work so I can get Legal Aid (are you freaking kidding me?!)

I can pay some money and if I have to be in debt for the rest of my life I will be! Where does that leave me? Am at a loss at what to do.
Any assistance or advice will appreciated.

Thanks in advance

I think you will find that the court will support shared care from the beginning of Primary school. By the age of 12 the children can make their own decisions where they live. McIntosh is only concerned about babies and toddlers only stying with the mother which is very controversial anyway. Spend time reading this site and sit in the family court and observe how others self represent and Lawyers do it and you will work it out.
The court-appointed/agreed single expert witness is the psychiatrist who will trump any psychologist and in particular the hired legal prostitute psychologist Dr Jen McIntosh.

The Court adopts the family report recommendations in 90% of cases. It is up to the opposition to discredit the psychiatrist, who should be well-aware of the fraudulent methodologies of McIntosh. More than likely all you will have to say is "do you affirm the contents of your report are true and correct". "Yes". And then sit down.

That is, they are bluffing.

Counterbluff. If they persist in seeking to rely on McIntosh, who contradicts 2000+ published, peer-reviewed research studies, inform them that you will require Dr McIntosh personally to be present for cross-examination.

They will have to seek permission from the court to allow an adversarial expert witness, which will be denied, with the expense of that hearing and even if successful costs for McIntosh's attendance - tens of thousands.

In my view, simpler to show them  the new meta-analysis of the current research on shared parenting by Dr. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University which includes and contradicts McIntosh.

Published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage the report is a must for debunking some of the "junk science" by useful "academic" idiots.
http://www.acfc.org/acfc/assets/documents/research_pdf's/Nielsen_SP_Nov_2011.pdf
The lawyer appears to be bluffing because the expert has already made recommendations which are appropriate.

The reference quoted by srldad101 confirms that shared parenting of children and teenagers works.  One point about that meta analysis was that it did not include high conflict situations.  The top 10-15% of studies involving high conflict cases were deliberately excluded from analysis.  Therefore the conclusion that shared parenting works is valid for cases that dont involve very high levels of conflict.

The question I ask then is how relevant is that study to family law proceedings where there IS high conflict?  In other words, family courts often have the task of sorting out parenting for high conflict cases.  Research such as this does not help.  Although people have been critical of Jenn McIntosh, she has at least attempted to use high conflict cases so that her findings are of some relevance.
April said
 One point about thatmeta analysiswas that it did not include high conflict situations. The top 10-15% of studies involving high conflict cases were deliberately excluded from analysis. Therefore the conclusion that shared parenting works is valid for cases that don't involve very high levels of conflict.

Although people have been critical of Jenn McIntosh, she has at least attempted to use high conflict cases so that her findings are of some relevance.
You're a bit of a dildo aren't you April? We are not interested in illogical, 60 year old, utterly discredited, evidence free McIntosh/Bowlby hypotheses and or beliefs that bear absolutely no application to modern reality. Its like.. the more swill you dish out the likelier it is the discredited old swill will be buried by the mountain of new swill so that no evidence is ever required. Either substantiate any assertion you make with EVIDENCE or STFU and stop boring everyone shitless.

We're sick of sociologists lying with obviously tainted cra p passed off as research. Really, a high conflict sample size of 30 odd couples. McIntosh's PSH "Cautionary Tale" should be subtitled "The domestic abuse industry is starting to stall, best produce some scary propaganda to increase the donations and goberment involvement".  

PSH = "Pants Shitting Hysteria"
Another eloquent post srldad101.

I ask a valid question and rather than answer it you resort to your typical abusive language to cover up the fact that you didn't answer it.

When dealing with specific clinical populations it is appropriate to use small sample sizes since no generalisation to the larger population is implied.  So if you want to know how shared parenting plays out in very high conflict situations a small sample size from a small population of high conflict situations (which is all there is fortunately) will allow conclusions to be drawn that apply to that population only.

I am not a sociologist by the way.
April said
 Neilson's meta-analysis: The top 10-15% of studies involving high conflict cases were deliberately excluded from analysis.
Who are you to make this unsubstantiated claim and why have you twice refused to provide any evidence?
April said
When dealing with specific clinical populations it is appropriate to use small sample sizes since no generalisation to the larger population is implied.  So if you want to know how shared parenting plays out in very high conflict situations a small sample size from a small population of high conflict situations (which is all there is fortunately) will allow conclusions to be drawn that apply to that population only.
You don't need real research to remove dad just claim it's high conflict. For the most pompous, stuck up, arrogant, condescending, pseudo intellectual, authoritarian, lefty Nanny overprotective, cranial microsis of the week, I present the inaugural McIntosh award to April.



srldad101 said
Get off your indignant soap box, April, you clown.
April said
Neilson's meta-analysis: The top 10-15% of studies involving high conflict cases were deliberately excluded from analysis.
Who are you to make this unsubstantiated claim and why have you twice refused to provide any evidence?
 
Please refer to page 589 of Nielson's meta-analysis (the reference you provided) wherethe methodology of the analysis is explained…

"It is important to note at the onset that this article does not include studies based on the 10% to 15% of the divorced parents in the high conflict group"

High conflict is not a situation where one parent is disagreeable and the other co-operative. Rather it is described in the Nielson meta analysis as a situation where parents are…

"extremely agressive, physically threatening, and often violent or physically abusive"

Didn't you even read the report you quoted?
Guys and Gals

Can we tone down the bad language and insults please. All it does is distract from what you are trying to say.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Which "gals" are you referring to Monteverdi?  There is only on poster in this thread using insults and bad language.
How many studies on 'high conflict' Australian court ordered shared care arrangements have been done? According to McIntosh her's is ground breaking, so I presume there is no replication?
Findings of any study are reinforced with subsequent studies.  Would be good for people to lobby the AG department to provide funding for follow up studies.  Still, a single study isn't automatically invalid because of a lack of subsequent confirmatory findings.

April said
Still, a single study isn't automatically invalid because of a lack of subsequent confirmatory findings.

Doesn't automatically make that single study valid either, does it.
It's worth remembering that McIntosh wasn't the only researcher to work on that study and that the study was undertaken across multiple universities.

The guidelines for care of infants post separation was not based solely on that study, despite what has been suggested.  Those guidelines were based on contemporary understandings of infant mental health and could have been written based on that alone.

I haven't read the whole book but there is a good resource which summarises and discusses the body of research which has been done into the effects of divorce on infants and children in high conflict situations. 

The book is - In the name of the child: A developmental approach to understanding and helping children of conflicted and violent divorce (in its 2nd edition) - Authors Johnston, Roseby and Kuehnle - Published by Springer.
Thank you for all the replies!

Um so what constitute High or Very High conflict?
A developmental approach to understanding and helping children of conflicted and violent divorce (in its 2nd edition)

I 've read the book, In relation to infants/young children. I can't see that it actually did alot to back up the AAIMHI guidelines???. In fact it made me question their guidelines more!

It's worth remembering that McIntosh wasn't the only researcher to work on that study and that the study was undertaken across multiple universities

Often research is collaborative, but it is still not a replicated study. Multiple researchers thought for nearly 50 years that Infantile Autism was caused by cold uncaring mothers. In psychology, yesterdays truths often become tomorrow's myths.
That is true, psychological theories get revised.    That is not to say that that current thinking is not valid.  Research methods are more robust these days than from last century.

I haven't read the entire book, but I am curious to know what was mentioned in the book which would make you question the guidelines for infant post separation care more.
April I don't have the book on me to quote from, only had a lend of it when a friend had it for a uni assignment.

However, if I do remember rightly the book doesn't claim that in high conflict situation's contact time is the most or only important factor in whether or not infants/toddlers end up with some type of attachment disorder.

From reading the book, it seems a toddler/infant can still be effected negatively by hostile parents , even if the contact is very short or during the day. Which contradicts what is in the guidelines.

The guidelines claim children can ability to tolerate separation is consolidated around 3 years of age, yet the book claims between 3 and 3 1/2 is the time child are at most risk of developing separation anxieties. Who is right????

The book also goes into a lot of detail about strategies that can be used on infants/toddlers to assist with the change between parents. Things like neutral 3rd parties, transition rituals ect.

It also goes into detail about the need for appropriate mental health counseling for parents in high conflict situations.

Why isn't AAIMHI advocating for compulsory counseling and having programs set up to try and educate parents to reduce conflict for the sake of their infants/toddlers?

Why advocate for the blanket approach they have.

Um so what constitute High or Very High conflict?
Very good question, it's not explained in the guidelines. I know so many parents who are aggressive outside the court system, so can't see that 'court attendance' should be used for defining high conflict.

That is true, psychological theories get revised.    That is not to say that that current thinking is not valid.  Research methods are more robust these days than from last century.
So we can discount any scientific study conducted pre December 31, 2000.
The guidelines provide guidance for courts to settle disputes involving care of infants and that is why they were written.  Their purpose is to guide judges and magistrates to make conservative decisions.  Remember, the parents are asking the court to take responsibilty for the outcome of its decision and so these guidelines provide a  safe conservative framework for judges and magistrates to use.

In an ideal world parents would be given couselling as you suggest and every case would have all of the resources required to maximise outcomes, but courts don't have the time and there isn't the money to resolve all legal disputes so well.  

Mediation services do offer referals to counselling and support groups but it is up to parents to use these facilities.

Always better for parents to be grown up enough to keep disputes out of court, but sadly we all know that does not always happen.
The guidelines provide guidance for courts to settle disputes involving care of infants and that is why they were written.  Their purpose is to guide judges and magistrates to make conservative decisions.  Remember, the parents are asking the court to take responsibilty for the outcome of its decision and so these guidelines provide a  safe conservative framework for judges and magistrates to use.
  According to AAIMHI themselves, this guide is not just aimed at those parents going though the court system or those in the judicial system. It's a guide for ALL separating parents & those that work in any way with them (such as counselors, mediators).

April can you answer the question as to what is considered high conflict and what is very high conflict? 
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