Co-Parenting After Divorce
Thus the question, “Have we reached a watershed in understanding the best interests of children in situations of family separation and divorce?,” was placed front and center during conference deliberations. Specifically, it was asked, have we reached the point where we can conclude with some confidence that the best interests of children are commensurate with a legal presumption of shared parenting responsibility for children and families, rebuttable in cases of family violence and child abuse? Are we at a point where the scientific evidence points in the direction of mandating that shared parenting becomes the foundation of family law?
This broad review elaborates on the most up-to-date knowledge on biochemical and psychobiological aspects of parental loss and other childhood adversities during divorce involving minor children. So far, divorce involving minor children was unfortunately considered by authorities only as a purely juridical problem, and this approach has often allowed a completely different approach according to the Courts. Now, scientific research,also making use of animal models, is demonstrating the biological basis of the problem and the ndisputable consequences on the well-being and health of children. The innovative conclusion of this review is that this argument (because of its frequency and gravity) is primarily a question of public health and that it is necessary to further harmonize practices in this area.
Dissemination of Shared Parenting in Europe within the Perspective of Resolution 2079 (2015) of the Council of Europe
"Dissemination of Shared Parenting in Europe within the Perspective of Resolution 2079(2015) of the Council of Europe".
The meeting language was French.
International Conference on Shared Parenting 2015
Best Practices for Legislative and Psycho-Social Implementation
Best Practices for Legislative and Psycho-Social Implementation of Shared Parenting
The International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP) endorses the Council of Europe Resolution 2079 on equality and shared parental responsibility
Bonn, Germany, 23 December 2015.
The International Conference on Shared Parenting on 9-11 December 2015 in Bonn, Germany, with about 120 participants from 20 countries and 3 continents gathered scholars, practitioners and representatives of civil society interested in the emerging paradigm of shared parenting in families in which parents are living apart. The conference was jointly chaired by the President of the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP), Prof. Edward Kruk, Canada, and Prof. Dr. jur. Hildegund Sünderhauf, Lutheran University Nuremberg, Germany.
According to Prof. Edward Kruk, this second International Conference on Shared Parenting constituted a significant advance from the first ICSP conference a year ago. “Whereas the first conference focused on bridging the gap between empirical evidence and socio-legal practice, the second conference moved toward the implementation of shared parenting in both law and mental health practice. We are witnessing a major paradigm shift globally in the acceptance of shared parenting as necessary to ensuring that the best interests of children are addressed, and the time has come for us to take responsibility to act and implement shared parenting on a broader global scale."
Prof. Hildegund Sünderhauf, Chair of the Scientific Committee of ICSP underlined that “the conference has clearly shown the tremendous amount of positive scientific results towards shared parenting. There is clear evidence that this family form can help children after separation and divorce of their parents in many cases.”
Dr. Chantal Clot-Grangeat, Clinical Psychologist and Vice-President of ICSP confirmed: “Family professionals should adapt the evidence of scientific research into their daily work with families in the context of separation, providing the chance of deescalating family disputes at an early stage.”
Oliver Hunziker, Vice-President of ICSP and representative of civil society, stated that “based on this evidence and the recent Resolution 2079 of the Council of Europe on equality and shared parental responsibility, presented at the conference by the initiator of the resolution, Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, politicians from all countries should now take action and change their laws accordingly.”
The follow-up International Conference on Shared Parenting is tentatively scheduled for 2017 in Boston, USA.
The International Conference on Shared Parenting 2015 was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), a major German research funding organization,
and the Lutheran University Nuremberg.
1. As shared parenting has been recognized by the research community, as well as by legal and mental health practitioners, as a viable post-separation parenting arrangement that is optimal to child development and well-being, there is consensus that both the legal and psycho-social implementation of shared parenting as a presumption should proceed without delay, with the full sanction and support of professional bodies and associations.
2. As shared parenting encompasses both shared parental authority (decision-making) and shared parental responsibility for the day-to-day upbringing and welfare of children, between fathers and mothers, in keeping with children's age and stage of development, there is consensus that legal implementation of shared parenting, including both the assumption of shared responsibilities and presumption of shared rights in regard to the parenting of children by fathers and mothers who are living together or apart, be enshrined in law.
3. As shared parenting is recognized as the most effective means for both reducing high parental conflict and preventing first-time family violence, there is consensus that legal and psycho-social implementation of shared parenting as a presumption should proceed with the goal of reducing parental conflict after separation. There is further consensus that legal and psycho-social implementation of shared parenting as a presumption be encouraged for high conflict families in particular, with the full sanction and support of professional bodies and associations.
4. There is a consensus that the above apply to the majority of children and families, but not to situations of substantiated family violence and child abuse. In such cases, a rebuttable presumption against shared parenting should apply. There is a consensus that the priority for further research on shared parenting should focus on the intersection of child custody and family violence, including child maltreatment in all its forms. There is further consensus that a priority for both the scientific and the legal and mental health practice communities should be the development of legal statutes and practice guidelines with respect to safety measures in cases of established family violence.
5. As there is mounting evidence that shared parenting can both prevent parental alienation, and is a potential remedy for existing situations of parental alienation in separated families, there is consensus that further exploration of the viability of a legal presumption of shared parenting in situations of parental alienation be undertaken.
6. As therapeutic and mediation services are vital to the success of shared parenting arrangements, there is a consensus that an accessible network of family relationship centres that offer family mediation and other relevant support services are critical components of any effort toward legislative and psychosocial implementation of shared parenting. We call on governments to establish such networks as a necessary adjunct to the establishment of a legal presumption of shared parenting.
7. We call on member states to fully adopt the Council of Europe Resolution of 2 October 2015. In particular, we call on member states to adopt the following provisions:
5.5. Introduce into their laws the principle of shared residence following a separation.
5.9. Encourage and develop mediation within the framework of judicial proceedings in family cases involving children.
International Conference on Shared Parenting 2014
Bridging the Gap between Empirical Evidence and Socio-Legal Practice
Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Needs and Rights of Children whose Parents are Living Apart
Bonn, Germany, 28 July 2014.
The International Conference on Shared Parenting on 9-11 July 2014 in Bonn, Germany under the theme “Bridging the Gap between Empirical Evidence and Socio-Legal Practice” was the first international and interdisciplinary gathering of scholars, practitioners and NGO representatives interested in the emerging paradigm of shared parenting in families in which parents are living apart. The conference was jointly chaired by the President of the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP), Prof. Edward Kruk, Canada, and Prof. Dr. jur. Hildegund Sünderhauf, Lutheran University Nuremberg, Germany.
A wide range of topics as well as perspectives on shared parenting were discussed and debated, leading to six major items. “Shared parenting — being defined as encompassing both shared parental authority and shared parental responsibility with a minimum of one-third time with each parent, including weekday time — is a viable post-divorce parenting arrangement for the majority of children of divorce, and in their best interests. The above apply to the majority of children and families, including conflict families, but not to situations of substantiated family violence and child abuse”, Prof. Sünderhauf stated. “Thus national family law should at least include the possibility to give shared parenting orders, even if one parent opposes it.” “Nevertheless, an accessible network of family relationship centres that offer family mediation and other relevant support services are critical in the establishment of a legal presumption of shared parenting, and vital to the success of shared parenting arrangements”, Prof. Kruk underlined.
The Conference Conclusions are available on the conference website:
The International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP) will offer conferences on an annual basis. The follow-up International Conference on Shared Parenting is scheduled for 28-30 May 2015 in Bonn, Germany.
The International Conference on Shared Parenting 2014 was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Family (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend - BMFSFJ), by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), a major German research funding organization, by the Lutheran University Nuremberg, by the City of Bonn and Bonn Rhein Sieg Touristik GmbH, as well as by Joe Sorge, Dr. Ned Holstein and the National Parents Organization (USA).
First International Shared Parenting Organization Established to Develop Evidence-Based Approaches to Needs and Rights of Children
International Conference on Shared Parenting 2014 to take place in Bonn on 9-11 July 2014
Bonn, Germany, 27 February 2014.
Responding to the alarming increase in psycho-social and developmental problems among children whose parents are living apart, 26 leading research scientists, family professionals and representatives of civil society from 11 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, on 21-23 February 2014 to found a new international organization focused on the feasibility of shared parenting as a viable and beneficial solution for children.
The new association will be known as the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP). Shared parenting means equivalent, alternating care of children by their separated parents. The purpose of the association is first, the dissemination and advancement of scientific knowledge on the needs and rights (“best interests”) of children whose parents are living apart, and second, to formulate evidence-based recommendations about the legal, judicial and practical implementation of shared parenting.
Vice-President Dr. Chantal Clot-Grangeat, Chambéry (France), stated, “Our aim is to find solutions for reducing the problems of children known to arise from family breakdown, such as diminished self-esteem, depression, and possible parental alienation, as well as educational failure, substance abuse, and trouble with the law.”
The first major initiative of the ICSP will be the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2014 at the “Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn” on 9-11 July 2014. The interdisciplinary conference under the theme “Bridging the Gap between Empirical Evidence and Socio-Legal Practice” will draw delegates from across the world. To facilitate an in-depth international exchange, simultaneous translation will be provided in English, French and German.
The movement for shared parenting continues to grow in western democracies. In addition to support for shared parenting from the Roman Catholic Church, and the Resolution favoring shared parenting passed by the Council of Europe, now comes news of three recent European meetings.
With his usual flair for presenting complex data in a form all can grasp and understand, Joe Sorge quickly made the case for how home and work life in the United States have changed dramatically yet our family laws and our family law courts and child support guidelines have remained stuck in the past. Modern family roles and structures have evolved, yet the laws have not.
A highlight of the conference was Malin Bergstrom, PhD, a developmental psychologist with the Division of Reproductive Health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Bergstrom and her colleagues have completed a study of the well-being of every (176,000) 12-15-year-old child in Sweden in order to ascertain the effects of family structure on the children. Children in intact families perform better on a wide variety of measures of physical health, mental health, and educational outcomes than do the children of divorce. Children of divorce whose parents share their care equally do better on all those measures than do the children of single parents.
The other striking piece of her presentation was that Bergstrom stated that the legal reform came first; followed by social change. Obviously, this confirms National Parents Organization’s work and strategy.
What is the best custody arrangement for children after divorce? Most of us outside of family lawyers and courts don’t think about that question until we are faced with it. And then adults tend to choose administrative stability, figuring the kids are as exhausted and spent as themselves. Children of divorce face such an upheaval that it makes sense to adults that the children need time to rest and recover, and so we prioritize routine.
Lithuanian International Conference on “Equally shared parenting and residence after divorce – children’s psychological stability. Legal and psychological aspects.”
On October 4th, 2013 the conference on “Equally shared parenting and residence after divorce – children’s psychological stability. Legal and psychological aspects.” was organised at the Lithuanian Parliament Building” in Vilnius by:
1. Mrs Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė, chairmen of the Child Welfare Group of the Lithuanian Parliament;
The conference has resulted in the establishment of a Lithuanian taskforce preparing proposals for the reform of family law in Lithuania.
Last July, National Parents Organization agreed to serve as a founding member of “Two Homes: The International Platform on Shared Parenting.” This is an umbrella organization with representatives from fourteen countries in Europe and North America. Of these, National Parents Organization may be the only component group with a major grassroots presence. The other organizations consist primarily of child development experts, social scientists, psychologists and lawyers who wish to promote better lives for children through shared parenting after separation or divorce of the parents. Our Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., was asked to serve on the Scientific Committee of the new umbrella organization.