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Shared Parenting Information & Dr Jennifer McIntosh

Comments concerning Jennifer McIntosh's approach to shared parenting. Her research is beginning to find use on behalf of custodial parents who are seeking to avoid shared parenting outcomes. She is developing a niche market as an advocate against shared p

I've looked at your forums before and seen the comments concerning Jennifer McIntosh's approach to shared parenting. Her research is beginning to find use on behalf of custodial parents who are seeking to avoid shared parenting outcomes. She is developing a niche market as an advocate against shared parenting.

If anyone finds her involved or proposed for involvement in a matter they have or where her research is being quoted, then I make the following information known:
  • Federal Magistrate Altobelli has made known his views of her position and written papers about it (Feb 08 being the best - and referred to in this site) where he writes the article "A Response to 'A Cautionary Tale'";

  • FM Altobelli has recently written a long and well-considered Judgment in a shared parenting/relocation case called Silas and Barry (8 May, 2009) - and if you need it, you can locate it at www.austlii.edu.au in the Federal Magistrates Court Family Law Judgments area - where McIntosh's research was put up to him as a reference and sought to be applied;

  • The research and papers by Joan Kelly - both on her own and written jointly by Kelly and Lamb - provide competing research to McIntosh;

  • There is also a paper on the Shared Parenting Council's site in reply by a psychologist and QC mediator which critiques McIntosh's paper "A Cautionary Tale";

  • A search of what McIntosh has produced shows some inconsistencies in her published works;

  • If your case involves seeking shared parenting, you'd never agree to her being a Court or Single Experts, given that her soap box position is as an advocate for something else; and

  • Her research can be countered with other studies from Canada and the US, given her limited scope information from her studies, which when you read the fine print, was unreliably taken from interviews (by members of her research team, not her) over the phone for 60 minutes only from limited groups.
I understand that there will soon be a decision by FM Wilson in Brisbane which refers to a matter where one of the parties called McIntosh to give expert evidence without seeing the parties, but simply to review an existing family report and was cross examined. It will be interesting to see how her views are interpreted, given that her views are in conflict with the objects of the act insofar as "meaningful relationship with both parents" is a part.

I think her published stance effectively rules her out as a viable single or Court expert.
Thanks to Guest for this post.

The Shared Parenting Council Australia (SPCA) will follow up on the Brisbane decision by FM Wilson.

One issue with the McIntosh report is the infinitesimal sampling size which from memory was around 100 cases or so. From that she has deduced that there is stress among children of conflictual separating parents. She may well have done well to look at some "together" families and see what sort of stress children have in non-separating families as well.

There are two very good substantial reports on the site here about the report.

Sure we agree there is stress amongst all children in separating families but to preclude a parent from any on going relationship is even more stressful I would have thought.

1 post - 1 author - Last post: 19 May 2008

Instead of saying we'll ration out appointed time to Dad with access or visitation, we say we'll now start halfway, says psychologist Jill Burrett

No wonder Michael Green QC is so highly regarded and has people like Jill Burrett working as co-author to his new shared parenting book

The problem with caution Jill Burrett M Sc, psychologist, Sydney. Michael Green QC, mediator, Sydney. Abstract: Well publicised voices have been raised

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
 

Thank you legal eagle

I did attend the conference you mentioned. Tom Altobelli and McIntosh did speak at this conference. She does have a reputation for having a stance. FRC and a certain 'Anglo Saxon' FM are known to like her. This FM has had a very subtle go at Tom Alobelli during one hearing.

I did speak to a father who was up against a McIntosh report, and it was in front of said FM. His lawyer was fighting to get McIntosh out of it - sorry do not know out come.

Have you had a look at the Johnson report from the US? See the Altobelli speech for info.

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. 
Just like a politician from an opposing party, an individual can choose to place themselves in opposition to known position solely for the purpose of creating an opposition so there can be profit. So far I know of several persons who have done this. They push into family and child welfare marketing themselves to get known to get cash. Monash Uni has spawned a few of these types. Perhaps the person you have mentioned is part of an organised group known to falsify for cash. I will see if I can find any connection to persons I already know of.

 I guess the issues are, should an expert be in the Court unless they have spent a considerable amount of time with one or more of the parties ?, and should an expert be permitted to be an expert if the other side of the bar table complains ?, and should any expert be permitted to talk to a child unless both parents consent?, and is there a means in the Court to dismiss is an expert claimed to be bias ? and should a full chance to provide an alternative counter balance to the bias always be permitted by the Court to the affected party ?,etc…

Some experts are good, and some are shite.

UK interest. PLEASE HELP!

All,

I have joined this forum specifically for this topic and more information about Janet Johnston and Jenn McIntosh.

We in the UK are a little behind you in Australia and we do not have any Shared Parenting laws. The fathers group Families Need Fathers FNF has drafted some proposals but I am afraid they have come unstuck when faced with the judiciary's champion, Joan Hunt. With her covering letter to me she mentions their work and I would appreciate ANY more information. (I am not being funny but it would help me tremendously if you could also supply URLs where appropriate).

Kingsley Miller  www.evenToddlersNeedFathers.com

Dear Kingsley

I attach a copy of the letter we sent to the DCSF and others as an initial response to the FNF guidelines. A fuller version will appear in September Family Law. This takes into account developments since our letter was sent.

I would like to point out that our criticisms of the guidance, particularly the Cafcass guidance, do not stem from any desire to minimise the role of fathers, or non-resident mothers for that matter, in their children's lives after parental separation. But the guidance, as FNF has now recognised, is flawed and needs to be substantially revised.

The article in Community Care, which has brought the issues into the public domain is not an accurate presentation of the facts. We have written a letter setting out the discrepancies, which we hope they will feel able to publish in full.

Joan Hunt

The new Guidelines on Shared Parenting produced by FNF: an initial response by Joan Hunt (University of Oxford) and Liz Trinder (Newcastle University)

Families Need Fathers has recently produced three sets of guidelines on Shared Parenting for Cafcass, Surestart and Schools and Teachers. This work was funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The precise status of the guidelines is unclear but all three appear to have been accepted by Cafcass and DCSF. The background and the guidelines are available on the FNF website at http://www.fnf.org.uk/publications-and-policy/shared-parenting-shared-benefits

As academics with considerable experience of researching post-separation contact, particularly in high conflict, litigating families, we have grave concerns about the guidelines, particularly those for Cafcass, concerns which we understand to be shared by other academics as well as practitioners.

In brief, our main concerns are threefold:

1. Current Law. Any official guidance must reflect the current law fully and accurately. These new guidelines state that although shared parenting does not mean that the childs time is necessarily divided equally between the parents that is an option which should always be considered as a starting point (by Cafcass officer as well as the parents themselves) unless there is good reason to advise otherwise. This would have the effect of introducing a presumption of a 50/50 division of the childs time. The law, however, currently states that it is the welfare principle (and the welfare checklist including the childs wishes and feelings) that must determine the decisions of the courts and therefore the recommendations that Cafcass officers make to the courts. It does not include any presumption of shared parenting or a 50/50 presumptive starting point. This is not a lacuna: during the passage of the 2006 Children and Adoption Act Parliament consistently rejected proposals that there should even be a statutory presumption of contact or reasonable contact let alone the more radical approach of a 50/50 presumption. If there is to be any change it has to be achieved openly, through the parliamentary process, not through Cafcass guidance.

2. Research Evidence. All three sets of guidelines make extensive reference to research to support or justify the case for shared parenting. However the account of the evidence base in the guidelines is incomplete, inaccurate and deeply misleading. There are, in fact, no robust research studies that find that children in high conflict or litigating populations benefit from 50/50 type arrangements. Rather the evidence is precisely the opposite with research finding poorer outcomes for these children. The guidelines fail to mention these directly relevant and robust studies, (e.g. research by Janet Johnston and Jenn McIntosh) or make unfounded methodological criticisms of them (e.g research by Carol Smart). In the absence of any empirical support the guidelines have to rely on research that is not directly relevant, such as the impact of father involvement in intact families; the general potential benefits of contact and the proportion of the whole separating population who report sharing childrens time equally. Moreover, while domestic violence and child abuse are rightly included as possible contraindications for shared parenting, there is no mention of the extensive research on the negative effects of parental conflict on children.

3. Failure to consult. The guidelines for Cafcass, schools and Sure Start centres appear to have been produced by a single fathers group (FNF) without reference to, or consultation with, any other stakeholders, including the judiciary, Resolution, childrens charities, womens groups or researchers. This is in contrast to the highly consultative approach generally adopted in this field, which is characterised by widely divergent perspectives and a lack of consensus. It is also contrary to the Governments Code of Practice on Consultation (2008, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform). The failure to consult may account for some of the inaccuracies and problems with the document.

Ways Forward
There are two potential ways forward, apart from withdrawing the document entirely as jointly agreed guidance.

The first is to reissue the three papers as consultation documents and to invite comment from all relevant stakeholders. The second is to produce a second edition of the documents which accurately reflects the law; uses research correctly; includes a more balanced analysis of the factors to be considered; and focuses on the interests of children.

There is, of course, also the option of doing nothing. However, given the flaws in both the guidance itself and the process by which it was produced, this option is likely to generate considerable opposition, even perhaps, a challenge to its legality. It is in the hope that it may be possible to retrieve the situation, in the interests of children, that we have decided to submit these comments.


Joan Hunt, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy, University of Oxford.

Dr Liz Trinder, Reader in Family Studies, Newcastle University.


15/07/2009




Kingsley Miller is the author of 'even Toddlers Need Fathers', a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in family courts, which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an, 'interesting and informative guide'. He has also received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating, 'It was thoughtful of you to enclose a copy of your book 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' and Her Majesty has noted your concerns'.
We can help. The McIntosh report is flawed, it has a small sample and points out the obvious negatives,without going in to details on the positives.

I did attend a Family Lawyers Conference, where Dr McIntosh spoke. I think all her reports are against shared care - she does not like it. Her report has been used in court cases here.

FM DrAltobelli rebuked the report at the same meeting.

There are some reports on this site you can use. If you whisper me I can give you some Sydney Uni papers.

Main defence is by Prof Parkinson, University of Sydney, FM Dr Altobelli and an article by Michael Green QC.

Altobelli does refer to the Johnston report in his papers but so far I have been unable to find a copy.

Monti

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 Cases

I have not yet been directly confronted with MCINTOSH, which I understand can be distinguished from most people's cases due to her definitions of conflict, her indicators and her core representative group, but I am dealing with the alleged or perceived conflict/communication claims.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think some useful cases may be Pilcher & Schneider(2008) FMCAfam 1092(13 Oct 2008), look at para 263 through to 274.

This case also cites and follows Astor & Astor(2007) FamCA 355(24 April 2007).

I have also had a look at a recent one Trinder & Chiswick (2009)FamCA 729(11 Aug 2009) which also touches on these issues.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"

More McIntosh using "high conflict" to work against shared parenting

More McIntosh muddying the waters, using "high conflict" cases to seek to create an undertone and environment of anti-shared parenting and anti-father working toward fuelling angry mothers' rights lobbying hysteria.

See ABC TV's Lateline (27 August 2009): Shared care system under family law spotlight

Also, those with relevant permissions may also read more about his by clicking here.
All,

I am grateful to all those on this forum for their assistance.

I have produced a YouTUBE video clip called,

High Conflict Research and Shared Parenting

YouTube

I hope you enjoy it!

Kingsley Miller - kip

Kingsley Miller is the author of 'even Toddlers Need Fathers', a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in family courts, which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an, 'interesting and informative guide'. He has also received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating, 'It was thoughtful of you to enclose a copy of your book 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' and Her Majesty has noted your concerns'.
Hi Kip

That is a great clip on youtube. Highly informative and gives a balanced view which I think is great!
Schltz,

Thanks mate!

Sorry about the Ashes.

Kip

PS I have posted video on another thread as I was unfamiliar with forum. Also sorry about this!

Kingsley Miller is the author of 'even Toddlers Need Fathers', a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in family courts, which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an, 'interesting and informative guide'. He has also received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating, 'It was thoughtful of you to enclose a copy of your book 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' and Her Majesty has noted your concerns'.

Linear Regression modelling

I point out that the academic paper of McIntosh/Chisholm Report is too flawed to be admissible as research let alone be allowed to circumscribe the statutory best interests of the child. The raw sample size of 30 odd couples is scientifically invalid. A single self-interested response can skew the analysis. There is no correction for insufficient data. All correction techniques remove erroneous data which exacerbates the problem.

Linear regression modelling is simply jargon for drawing a line through a pool of data taken from other research, regardless of purpose or methodology or age or even particular relevance, from the answer. It amounts to attempting to take responses out of context and to graft them on to a question to which they are inapplicable. Data is manufactured to support the conclusion. This is not science, social or political, it is just wishful thinking.

The Family Courts are at the epicenter of junk science. The real concern is that the statutory best interests of the child should be circumvented by judicial ideologues and agenda caselaw.

Last edit: by srldad101

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