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Shared Parenting Criticised - Is this the first step in a roll back?

Divorce industry practitioners criticise shared parenting and reveal their anti-father bias.

More feminist/industry scaremongering.

If it isn't allegations of DV it's anything else for women to control and exclude the father or for divorce industry parasites to generate income.

It is often insightful to "follow the money" with reports such as this and see who benefits.

In this case, further controlling and excluding fathers would appear to benefit mothers and divorce industry practitioners.

This may be the first salvo in the fight under the new ALP (feminist) government to roll back shared parenting legislative changes.

Perhaps presumptive paternal custody and residence would solve the problem!

NB#1 The report is by two family breakdown and divorce industry practitioners.

NB#2 The article specifically mentions "lobbying by fathers' groups" and this mention is a clue/signal to the anti-father agenda of the journalist and the report writers.

The Age (Melbourne)
21 December 2007

Custody rules 'exposing children to war zones'
By Karen Kissane

In a finding that challenges the Howard government's changes to child custody laws, new research has found that children aged under 10 can be emotionally harmed by shared-parenting arrangements in many families.

Where parents cannot co-operate and remain hostile towards each other, shared-parenting arrangements can result in a higher-than-normal rate of clinical anxiety in the children, the research found.

The report follows changes to family law by the Howard government in 2006 in response to lobbying by fathers' groups.

The changes emphasised the concept of equal shared parental responsibility, which is often misinterpreted as meaning equally shared time.

The report recommends that mediators and Family Court judges screen warring couples to ensure that their level of conflict does not make them unsuitable for shared care.

Written by Jennifer McIntosh, a child psychologist and associate professor of psychology at La Trobe University, and former Family Court judge Richard Chisolm, the report will be published next month in the journal Australian Family Lawyer.

Professor McIntosh told The Age that, to be successful, shared parenting must involve parents living close to each other and getting along well enough to have a working arrangement.

They must each feel confident that the other is a competent parent, be financially comfortable, have family-friendly work practices and keep the child out of their disagreements.

These conditions do not exist for many parents who have arrangements adjudicated by a court, Professor McIntosh said.

Litigating couples were more likely to substantially share children, even though 73% in one study reported "almost never" co-operating with each other, and 39% admitted "never" being able to protect their children from conflict.

"Shared care puts children more frequently in the pathway of animosity and acrimony between their parents, witnessing derogatory exchanges, for example," she said. "The core issue is that shared care can inadvertently rob children of security in their relationships with both parents.

"Screening is essential. We should not allocate (shared) time as a means of appeasing angry parents."

Professor McIntosh reported on two recent studies that tracked children's wellbeing after a difficult divorce. One involved 181 children and the other 111 children. In the latter study, 28% of the children were clinically distressed four months after their parents' court case ended.

Living in substantially shared care, being unhappy with those arrangements, and having parents in conflict were associated with poor mental health.

"One of the other realities of shared care is that it's less stable," she said. "It very often breaks down. Older children vote with their feet and say, 'I don't want to do this any more'. My concern is for the little kids who can't vote and have to live in these conditions of sharing their time between two enemies."

She said the concept of substantially shared time - five or more nights a fortnight with the "other" parent - was now being applied to very young children, with 21% of shared-care children in one study aged under four. Babies and toddlers are developmentally unsuited to shared care.

She said the new law "tried to do good things. It tried to say that relationships with fathers are important, and they are. My data show that too. But, inadvertently, these changes seem to be creating new difficulties."
Of course! That's the answer: reduce the child's anxiety by forcing them to live with the "nutty" resident mother who cannot rise above her own self-absorption to be able to operate within a basic shared parenting arrangement.

Also, remove any kind of ex-route for the poor kid for when they turn 10 and want to escape the "nuttiness" because they know their non-resident parent and have a relationship with them.

sheesh - sorry, I had champas at lunch :(

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
My understanding and without having to resort to costly research, is that children can be harmed by buses. Would I be right to assume that KK (uhhm only one missing O_o ) would have all children not go near buses …

My understanding from publications such as the Fatherless Family that children can be harmed by not having their father involved in their lives substantially, perhaps the conclusion of the two reports should be that no mother should get custody and that if there is any disharmony then she never get shared parenting. Not that I'm advocating that.


What do we know about the authors? Any one have back ground info? I think we need to watch this new Labor government very carefully and perhaps to preempt any attack by Dr. Michael Flood et al.

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. 

McIntosh & Chisholm Report Critical of Shared Parenting

Further to the news item at FamilyLawWebGuide news home page
Elsewhere on Friday 21 December 2007 Equiponderate said
According to the article below, the new legislation on shared parental responsibility, "is often misinterpreted as meaning equally shared time… [and] tried to say that relationships with fathers are important, and they are. My data show that too. But, inadvertently, these changes seem to be creating new difficulties."
Based on my own experience and on that of others, I can see a grain of truth in this article - shared parenting often escallates conflict by placing parents who hate each other in a position of daily negotiations. It is fanciful (in my thinking) to suggest shared parenting is a cure of emnity and conflict, when in fact it often (as in my experience) cranks-up the quantity of skirmishing. There are of course separated parents who co-parent amicably, but this is the only scenario selected by father's groups to represent the outcome of such sharing … they leave the very common 'high conflict' examples out of the argument.
That said, I think the only way to reverse the "mother takes all" tradition is to push the equal shared parenting time proposal, as this highlightes the biases otherwise going on in the present system. That said, my personal preference is that substantial custody with one parent who makes all the major decisions is the only way to go in many cases. But in the latter my wish would be to see equal numbers of fathers gaining majority care as do mothers gain majority care, which presently doesn't happen. Then of course I am all for those particular families who can amicably co-parent being encouraged to do so.
Of course a starting point can still be 'equal shared parenting time', as this can provide a constant reminder of the need for equality and can steer the machinations of the industry.
If you don't support shared parenting unless the Family Court first finds it to be suitable (after a year or so of litigation "negotiation" and mediation), doesn't that mean you oppose the presumption of shared parenting?
If so, as it appears by what you say here I suggest you would be better served by other forums / groups who oppose shared parenting when its is contested.
I think everybody else here believes children should not have their fathers removed unless they are a danger to them. Likewise I think we all oppose a process whereby a Judge determines who the best parent is, based on submissions form lawyers and practitioners (experts).
This forum is about equality for fathers and children.

Simon Hunt
Family Law Action Group
Phone: +61 (0)3 5973 6933
Mobile: 0414 415 693
Mums, Dads and Kids against Sole Custody
"Protecting children from losing a parent after separation".
Artemis said
Sheesh - sorry, I had champas at lunch :(
I think it helped write some sensible commentary !! It is an extrodinary report which is not even ready to publish yet.. More rhetoric and breast beating from the charliatans and despots of doom and gloom.

We will be interested to read the usual fabrications and falcities when they come out next month. The real truth of the matter, that shared parenting outcomes are best for children, is still stuff of fairy tales for the die hards who lost out miserably in the last round of legislation. Sour grapes can always be supported with some flimsy report from a so called academics life time of academia … I wonder if this researcher has ever left the sheltered bosom of the University halls to the reality of the real world outside and importantly real world parenting.  

We support the on going efforts of many in the Judiciary to enact and impliment the legsilation as it was supposed to be implimented in the explanatory memorandum. Pick up and drop off at school where there is conflict and perhaps more reversal of "lives with parent" orders may put an end to the conflictual issues in a big hurry… They should be worrying more about the displacement of the freedoms and rights of all in relation to the new AVO and DVO legislation as discussed on this site previously.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
Here's what's sticking in my craw on this, the ex can leave the stepson in the care of anyone she pleases. Daycare and the grandparents do most of the "raising" yet giving him time with a devoted, motivated and interested parent is going to harm him? Give me a break.

You can shared parent and barely speak and never see the other side. Pick ups can be at after school or daycare. If nothing will be gained by trying to collaborate with the other side you don't have to. As long as you are prepared for trivial issues (like missing clothes, shoes, lunchboxes and the like) it really can work. The kids are just happy to see as much of mum and dad as possible. If Mum and Dad can't be together, then this is the next best thing - at least, that's what my 10 yr old says. Oh, and by the way, both my kids think they will get married one day, so they don't seem too badly scarred.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Jennifer McIntosh Background

Dr Jennifer McIntosh

Jennifer (Jenn) is a clinical child psychologist, training and research consultant. She is the director of Family Transitions, a clinical, research and training centre, dedicated to the needs of children and parents experiencing family separation or trauma, and to the support of professionals working with them. Jenn holds adjunct positions as Senior Lecturer at Melbourne University and Associate Professor at La Trobe University. She has a high profile in national training and conference forums, in the mental health, welfare and legal sectors. She is well regarded for her ability to articulate and advocate for the psychological wellbeing of children.

In recent years, Jenn has carried out several research studies and training programs for the Australian Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Family Services. These include the clinical research into Contact Services in Australia (1999), and Child Inclusive Practice in Family and Child Mediation and Counselling (1999). Jenn has designed and trialled an approach to child consultation in the context of family law mediation (Mediation Quarterly, vol 18, no. 1, Fall 2000), and is currently engaged in further study of this approach. Current work includes examination of less adversarial Family Court processes and impacts on the capacity of parents to manage their conflict and parent their children.

Jenn has authored several papers in the areas of attachment formation and loss, and worked with children in long-term foster care. She runs an Attachment Clinic, for the assessment and treatment of children traumatised by family loss and transition. Other publications include a meta analysis of the parental conflict and domestic violence literature, with respect to impacts on children's development. She has a particular interest in making psychoanalytic and developmental theories "user friendly", enabling parents, carers and professionals to consider the experience of children more sensitively, and to act on this within systems and structures where a child focus has traditionally been difficult to achieve.

Correspondence to:
Dr Jenn McIntosh
Family Transitions
28 Princes Street
Carlton, Victoria 3054
Phone: 03 9347 2434

Hera are two documents by Jennifer McIntosh:

Australian Psychological Society
"Parenting After Separation"

Australian Family Relationship Clearinghouse
"Child inclusion as a principle and as evidence-based practice:
Applications to family law services and related sectors"

Letter to The Age Editor

A very relevant post on another forum relating to this issue:
Elsewhere on 27 December 2007 Yuri Joakimidis said

Dear Editor,

Karen Kissane (The Age 21/12/2007) writes: "new research has found that children aged under 10 can be emotionally harmed by shared-parenting arrangements in many families" says child psychologist Jennifer McIntosh. However, Dr McIntosh fails to acknowledge the findings have been the subject of robust peer review criticism.

To use the words of one expert "If infants can tolerate sleeping away from both parents during nap time at day care centres, on what basis can it be argued that sleeping away from one parent, in the familiar home of the other parent, would harm children?"

As to Dr McIntosh's' claim children are voting with their feet against shared parenting seven studies that have sought the views of children report shared care is what children in divorce want.

In sum we need 'we need thoughtful, careful research, not narrow advocacy that plays parents against each other like scorpions in a bottle.

Yours Sincerely
Yuri Joakimidis

Site Director

Karen Kissane is Misandrist and has Men and Dads in Her Sights

Karen Kissane, a 'journalist' for The Age newspaper, recently wrote an article seeking to diminish and dismiss shared parenting (Age, 21/12/07).

Subsequent investigation has shown that Kissane has an anti-male (misandrous) agenda and might more accurately be portrayed as a commentator, not a real journalist (but an advocacy 'journalist').

By way of informing your understanding of her articles and writing, below is a brief overview of some of her articles over the past few years.  And following that is some background information about Kissane.  Thanks to PaulD for providing the idea for this analysis and for some of this information.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 21 December 2007 Karen Kissane said
Custody rules 'exposing children to war zones'
In a finding that challenges the Howard government's changes to child custody laws, new research has found that children aged under 10 can be emotionally harmed by shared-parenting arrangements in many families.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 7 October 2007 Karen Kissane said
Killer dads - why they do it
Fathers who murder their children exact the ultimate revenge on an estranged partner, writes Karen Kissane. He is a bottler. He holds in his anger and other emotions. He might seem to be an easy-going, appeasing sort of man but he is what psychologists call "over-controlled", a person whose silent fuming might one day explode into violence. Add to this a marriage break-up in which he is the spurned partner – and a new partner for his wife before he has adjusted to his changed circumstances – and the rage can fester into vengeful obsession.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 6 June 2007 Karen Kissane said
Porn haul costs mum her son, 9
The Family Court has taken a nine-year-old boy away from his mother partly because her partner was convicted over Australia's largest collection of child pornography.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 28 November 2006 Karen Kissane said
Hearth of darkness
She looks to be a strong young woman, with a confident walk. But as she sits in Melbourne's Magistrates Court she leans her face into her hand, her shoulders bent, closed in on herself. When it comes time for her to give evidence, her voice is steady and deep, but in the silences while the magistrate considers, she draws shaky breaths. Her former partner has threatened and assaulted her many times, she says, including once trying to strangle her. "He has told me he's going to get me, he's going to kill me. I am watching my back all the time." She says pleadingly, "I can't live like that!" Her former partner already had many breaches of intervention orders to his credit, so the magistrate does not hesitate to extend her order. Out of the witness box and back in her seat, the young woman weeps with relief as it is written out. Asked if she has any questions, she says: "So the next time I find cigarette butts on my balcony, I should ring the police instead of cleaning them up?" Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough answers: "Family violence is about power and control and making people feel frightened."
In The Age (Melbourne) on 20 May 2006 Karen Kissane said
Men not ready for paternity test grief
Many men who believe that paternity testing is their "right" and the best way to find out "the truth" are unprepared for the intense grief they feel when they discover a child is not biologically theirs, according to research.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 1 February 2006 Karen Kissane said
'Perceived' affair provoked husband to kill, court told
Erin Margach, 8, had promised to read a bedtime story to her little sister, Bree. When her mother called from the kitchen for help, Erin went to answer. She found her father, Paul, with her mother, Tina, who was bleeding to death from multiple stab wounds. The moments that followed were captured on a taped 000 call that was played yesterday in the Supreme Court.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 6 November 2004 Karen Kissane said
Honour killing in the suburbs
Julie Ramage was killed by an enraged husband who didn't want to let her go. The jury found him guilty of manslaughter, not murder. Does the law still treat women as the chattels of men? Karen Kissane investigates.
In The Age (Melbourne) on 29 October 2004 Karen Kissane & Peter Gregory said
Mother's rage after wife-killer verdict
Julie Ramage's mother wept silently on her husband's shoulder yesterday when she heard the verdict: "Manslaughter." But she was unable to stifle her sobs as the jury left the courtroom. And she was unable to restrain her rage as she left, passing her son-in-law, the man who had killed her daughter. "B*stard," she hissed.
And here is some background information about Karen Kissane…
Elsewhere PaulD said
I think we should look more closely at authors such as Karen Kissan. She is an experienced journalist, but also a woman who is enthralled by popular fiction. Look her up on Google. Her blog is for reviewing fiction. She is a student of the reality-based novel. She has won awards for presenting populist fiction. (The 2007 Winner for Best True Crime is Silent Death: The Killing of Julie Ramage by Karen Kissane) modelled after Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood'.

As has been pointed out … her reasoning is lacking and circular. It fails to take into account all the aspects of the situation, even those described explicitly in the published accounts. She simply discards that information that does not suit her purpose.

In other words, she is a fiction author who has been put in the role of an investigative journalist, at best. As a journalist, even the works for which she has won awards is clearly one-sided. (Take a careful read of the comments about her research efforts which one her the award.)
The Age Journalist Profiles said
Karen Kissane Profile
Karen Kissane
Karen Kissane was a 12-year-old Catholic schoolgirl when a teacher called her aside one day to tell her that she was the best reader in the class, but that she wouldn't be able to do any of the readings at a special church service with the bishop because she was a girl. In those days, as a female, she was not even allowed to serve on the altar, much less speak from it.

"I sometimes wonder if that's why I'm in journalism today," she says, "because I was told that, as a girl, I couldn't have a voice. Maybe I've been pushing against that ever since."

Just recently, Kissane, now a senior writer with The Age, found herself thinking again about women's voices when she covered the story of a woman who had been silenced absolutely when she was killed by her husband. It was 2004. Julie Ramage, an attractive middle-class mother of two, had been killed by her husband, Jamie. At Jamie Ramage's trial for murder, his lawyer successfully argued that the verdict should be reduced from murder to manslaughter because he had been provoked. The fact that Julie had an affair was part of the evidence at the trial. But the fact that Ramage had a history of violence towards his wife - including an episode years earlier in which he had broken her nose - was deemed inadmissible.

It was a story Kissane, a journalist with more than 25 years' experience at the time, was startled to see unfolding in the 21st century. "The laws of evidence meant that much of what Julie Ramage had told her friends and family about what was going on in her marriage, and about how frightened she was of her husband, did not get an airing," she says. "And yet Jamie's claim of what had happened in their final encounter - that he had been provoked by his wife to kill her - had to stand unless it could be disproved beyond reasonable doubt."

Last year, the provocation defence was scrapped by the Victorian Government. The case struck Kissane as a story that had to be told in full. "It appeared to me as a female voice being silenced, an imbalance and an injustice," she says. "Halfway through the trial, I walked back into the office from court and said to a senior editor, 'There is definitely a book in this'."

etc, etc, etc…
Also see this post on FLWG: Response to 'killer dads' in The Age - by Geoff Holland
dad4life said
Karen Kissane, a 'journalist' for The Age newspaper …
I think the word 'journalist' in quotes says it all, but the addition of a question mark would have been more appropriate or did you mean 'opportunist'

"Halfway through the trial, I walked back into the office from court and said to a senior editor, 'There is definitely a book in this'."

or to rephrase - 'I can make a quid from this and join the legions of other people that make a living from selective information and half truths'.

If she were a true journalist she would of course understand there are two sides to every story, but knows that only presenting one side in true lurid Stephen King fashion is bound to sell books.

What a dreadful childhood experience she had - not being allowed to read in Church, I wonder has she thought of suing the Catholic Church for the incredible harm it did her? She could also include the fact that they obviously failed to instill any of the basic Christian virtues in her such as not profiting from the misery of others.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Wow - What power in cooperative research by people on this site. Information IS power.

Provide information and allow people to see for themselves.

There is nothing wrong with ideas - we need them - but we also need debate - especially when only present ONE SIDE or select statistics from researchers to quote.

The key for me is that there are many people who seem HELL BENT on promoting the plight of WOMEN. They have not ceased to be relevant - they are but the bottom feeders pushing their own barrow while the world changes around them.

NONE of these people seem to care about SOCIETY, HUMANITY, THE WORLD etc and many of them lack the ability to see the past, present and possible futures with any sort on insight.

Let us all find positive messages which move THE WORLD to a better place - next year.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
I've started asking questions about this so-called plight. Like how did diamonds become the girls best friend, when they must have come from the oppressive male? Why would such an oppressive beast make a bicycle adapted to specifically suit the opposite gender, or walk on the outside to potentially have the waste products from a house over him rather than her. Why doesn't this oppressive beast order the so-called slave to pick the handkerchief up them self?

The more I think, the more inclined I am to consider that throughout time, so very many have just gotten the gender reversed.
Initially, there were good reasons for feminisim. There was a lot of repression. 40 years ago women had to marry, they couldn't work (well, it was VERY uncommon), and only 20 years ago it was frowned upon that women wore trousers to work. There were "womens" jobs and "mens" jobs with a typical womans job being low paid.

I used to call myself a feminist but because of all the feminazis out there, I now call myself an egalitrian. The answer to repression is not to put another segment of the population down - this helps no one, but is understandable because this is a learned behaviour.

I can't think of it, but there is a documentary about a teacher who taught about discrimination by dividing her class into blue eyed and brown eyed. One week, one set of kids were dominant and the next, the other set were. Both sets of children were just as cruel to each other and they clearly got the message about how segregation and discrimination works.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Ongoing Journalistic Fear Campaigns

The strategy that seems to be constantly used is to attack the small issues and ignore the big issues. This is similar to the 'Divide and Conquer' technique.

What of course is clear is there is an overall strategy being used (not published) and all the various cogs in the wheel - the journalists, media, research organisations, universities, education systems, courts, government bodies, politicians - all play their part - many of them (eg pru goward) who probably do not have a clue how they are being manipulated.

So what Karen does is attack minor issues and present a one sided view - this is all about having a constant message being displayed so people become IMMUNE to thinking about things. Its all very insidious - e.g. some people say that some children have some problems when some divorced parents have some conflict. Pretty hard to argue against isn't it?

Some people think that some female journalists are  feminists bent of causing damage to as many men as they can by manufacturing one-sided positions. Hard to argue with that but its not published in papers or in the media is it?

The selected quotes were

"Shared care puts children more frequently in the pathway of animosity and acrimony between their parents, witnessing derogatory exchanges, for example," she said. "The core issue is that shared care can inadvertently rob children of security in their relationships with both parents.

"Screening is essential. We should not allocate (shared) time as a means of appeasing angry parents."

On the face of it: "Children are victims" (robbed - a crime - of their security of relationships). This "Children are victims" message is the key message people use to get the bandwagon rolling - find a victim group to associate yourself with so you can then mount your campaign. (see the 'Its about time' report by HEROC which tried to associate stay at home mums (carers) with people who cared for people with disabilities - to get more money).

The real constant message is - shared parenting is a problem, men cause conflict, men are angry.

Its a bit similar to the issue about conflict being a reason not to award shared care - given that all the woman has to do is say "there's conflict" or be disagreable or muck around with the children to try to make the man angry (and hence win even more) - it does not help SUPPORT shared care.

Karen Kissane does not look to be capable of forming a world view of this matter.

People (married) already have conflict, fight, argue, put each other down, act negatively -etc. Its what people do generally - they can also be loving , friendly, supportive and considerate.

Another disturbing theme is to associate 'divorced' people with the notions of failure, conflict, problems, inadequate parenting and similar issues. From my experience - Its seems to be mostly the male who is held up to the spotlight for their actions.

If we want to have have shared parenting then we need to concentrate the effort towards positive campaigns - eg:

1) Conflict - so what - we all have conflict - let's learn to deal with it

2) Anger - yes - people should be angry sometimes - what's wrong with emotion?

3) Children need parents - withOUT parents, children become WARDS OF THE STATE - we need to have parents raising children

4) Relationships - yes we need to give ALL people skills on how to ENJOY and BE EFFECTIVE in their relationships - it makes our society a better place.

The ongoing fear campaigns by these 'reporters' pander to the lowest values in society (the lower parts of the brain) - yes it exists - but is that all we aspire to?

Lift your game Karen and join the grown up world.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Happy New Year Jon.

Once again your words are those of a wise eyes opened. I must admit our conversations are general in phrase and perspective while the reality is there is only a small portion of those who divorce go to the Court for children's issues and are unable to be civil to each other.

The majority of us don't even think about the warring parties until we are joined in as one of those parties warring like we don't see so many cars the same type as the one we drive until we get that type or model. It is my experience one person decides they are to control and the other is forced to defend themselves.

A management book called "The One Minute Manager" by Hersey and Blanchard give some good insight into what you are saying about people in everyday life and how to handle (manage) those issues. The concept of a monkey on your back or the other persons always makes me smile but is an apt analogue.
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