Saturday, July 25, 2009

One Step Forward, One Step Backward: Canada and Australia (1 of 2)

On June 16 of 2009, Maurice Vellacott, member of House of Commons of Canada, submitted Bill C-422, for a presumption of equal parenting. This bill, if passed, will direct courts to make equal shared parenting the presumptive arrangement in the best interests of the child. On its Preamble, the bill states that among its purposes are to:

(b) encourage divorcing spouses to assume more responsibility for their affairs, with less reliance on adversarial processes,

(c) promote joint responsibility and joint decision-making by spouses in respect of ongoing childcare, nurturing, and development,

(d) establish that the interests of the child are best served through maximal ongoing pa- rental involvement with the child, and that the rebuttable presumption of equal parenting is the starting point for judicial deliberations…

This historic bill is the result of the efforts of many pro joint custody organizations in Canada, especially of The Canadian Equal Parenting Council (CEPC, The Council is a coalition of 38 pro joint custody organizations encompassing a range of issues related to family and social justice in Canada. In its mission statement they write:

The primary mission of this organization, and the movement it represents, is to secure every child’s right to be equally parented when the relationship between the father and the mother breaks down.

Last week we rejoiced for the triumphs of Amor de Papá in Chile. Now we have to rejoice for the triumphs of our Canadian brothers and sisters. If Bill C-422 is passed, the fight for the right of our children to have two parents would haven achieved a historic milestone.

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