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Shared Parenting Works Best for Children is Now Scientific Fact

At this point it is just plain, simple scientific fact. Shared parenting has been proven by over 200 scientific research studies to be ENORMOUSLY better for children than either parent getting primary custody. In fact if the parent live fairly close and badmouthing is avoided then shared parenting is virtually always better unless there is a serious unfit parent where real abuse is occurring. Twenty years ago we did not know this for sue - today we do. So why are the courts not acting on this fact and changing custody defaults to shared parenting? Becuase of MONEY!! The system has been built to make money (often hidden kickbacks fro federal government to states) and enormous legal fees for custody battles. Every decision lawyer make helps isolate and separate parents. Restraining orders are the most powerful tool used to quintuple legal fees in divorce battles. Layers promise women custody for creating a high conflict divorce - driving up legal costs and the number of legal battles and drowning the system in unnecessary cases that hurt children.


I read with interest the letter in The Sun of March 9 on shared parenting by members of the Merrimack Valley Legal Services.

First, let me state that people who have an economic interest, such as lawyers, in perpetuating an adversarial system should not be commenting. It is no different than the pharmaceutical companies flying doctors all over the place to use their drugs. Here the drug of choice is lawyers for maintaining an unfair legal system.

I totally agree to disagree with many points brought up by the two lawyers. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides for equal protection under the law. The "best interest of the child" standard is a subjective standard. This is admitted to by all lawyers and people within the court system. It is not a scientific standard.

Shared parenting would level the playing field. It takes away part of the adversarial aspect and makes it fair for both women and men. It is also in the best interest of the children since it can reduce conflict. In addition, studies have shown that where shared custody is the norm, the divorce rate drops. Intact marriages are the healthiest for children over all.

Under the present system in Massachusetts, 85 percent of contested custody cases are awarded to women. Under shared custody, whether there is equal custody or visitation, the kids shuttle back and forth. This is a fact of divorce. The shuttling does not change, what does change is that they spend more equitable time with both parents.

All custody arrangements require cooperation and co-parenting between the parents. Shared custody does not change the need for this cooperation just because the time is equitable.

Once again they bring in the domestic violence and fear argument. We have laws to deal with people who are violent. I do not believe in the herd mentality. We do not say do not hire women in the work place because some women get pregnant. According to the Health and Human Services, women abuse kids more than men (2003 study). We do not take away the rights of the majority, regardless, for the wrongs of a small minority.

They state that if problems exist, they can be addressed. First with the bias as is, it is virtually impossible to get a fair outcome. To address the unfairness costs legal fees of more than $250 an hour. Many dads and moms do not have the financial ability to pay for this redress.

Making shared parenting a presumption is in the best interest of kids. All studies show that kids do best when they have equal time with mom and dad. Equal rights is not just for women, it is for men and women. Men and women; voted for shared parenting this past election. Eighty-six percent of the electorate voted for it. Self-serving individuals, such as lawyers, have no business advocating against it.




Joint custody is better for kids
The Lowell Sun
I support joint physical custody because studies show that children do best with this arrangement and because this is what children desire. Eighty-six percent of Massachusetts voters supported a ballot initiative calling for the presumption of joint physical and legal custody, unless one of the parents has been deemed unfit.

The courts are supposed to encourage as much access as possible by both parents, and are currently required by law to determine custody based on the "best interest of the child." If children need the care and nurturing of both parents, why do Massachusetts courts award sole physical custody to the mother in 85 percent of all cases, and relegate the father to a visitor with typical visitation of only two days every other week? This is not in the best interest of children.

Thousands of fathers like myself have tried to fight the courts to maintain meaningful relationships with their children, to no avail. Children do not benefit from these protracted court cases. It is the lawyers who benefit and who are now lobbying against joint-custody legislation. With the presumption of joint-physical custody many of these family court cases could easily be resolved with one simple question: Does either party intend to prove to the court that the other parent is unfit? With the presumption of joint-physical custody, parties could focus on determining a joint-parenting arrangement in the "best interest of the child."



There is no reason to fear shared parenting
The Lowell Sun
I am writing in response to the submission on March 9 by Ms. Chacko and Ms. Racek of Merrimack Valley Legal Services regarding shared parenting.

What Ms. Chacko and Ms. Racek failed to submit in their letter is that last year 86 percent of Massachusetts voters in more than 30 legislative districts overwhelming supported a shared-parenting bill. This landslide win shows that the voters of Massachusetts support shared parenting and is not something that should be ignored.

Ms. Chacko and Ms. Racek then made the usual jump to domestic violence and intimate that every offender is a man/father and state that somehow having shared parenting will foster more domestic violence. They provided no statistical data to support this.

What Ms. Chacko and Ms. Racek failed to discuss is the rising number of false accusations made by women against men to gain an advantage in custody/divorce proceedings. The sad reality of this is that when women/mothers file for a 209A restraining order and lose based on lack of evidence, the people who really need these orders suffer.

I would ask Ms. Chacko, Ms. Racek and any other woman who is against shared parenting the following: Why are you so afraid to be judged equally with the father before the proceedings begin? Is it perhaps because more and more fathers are being proven to be the more fit parent?

If the courts operate as you say they do and there is no bias toward mothers, why would a shared-parenting bill be needed? I think we all know the answer to that question.