NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

November 23, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

In Canada, the Nanos polling and research organization has come out with a new survey of the level of support for equal parenting. We’ve seen this before. In years past, both Nanos and others have polled Canadians on equal parenting and the results remain pretty constant at about 70% support. That’s what the most recent poll showed. (A recent poll in Michigan found an astounding 84% of people supporting shared parenting, and 64% doing so strongly.)

Nanos asked 1,000 Canadians across the country this question: “Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose federal and provincial legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases?”

About 69.5% either strongly supported the legislation or somewhat supported it. A mere 13% strongly or somewhat opposed it, with another 17% undecided.

Respondents were about equally divided between men (478) and women (522). More men than women support equal parenting, but still, a strong majority of women do. 77.7% of men and 61.6% of women said they support a presumption of equal parenting.

Equal parenting remains popular as well in all age groups. 67.7% of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 support the presumption, as do 73.2% of those between 35 and 54 and 68.4% of Canadians over the age of 54.

In short, among everyday Canadians, equal parenting post-divorce is as popular as ever, with the overwhelming majority of people thinking it should be the default position in family courts.

Pro-equal parenting forces plan to make a push for passage of such a bill in the near future.

We’ve seen similar polls done in the United States and the U.K. Equal parenting garners the lion’s share of public support every time. That of course raises an obvious question: why isn’t equal parenting the law in those jurisdictions that demonstrate such widespread support for it?

The answer is “the people be damned!” or some version thereof. Put simply, while We the People seem to know what’s good for kids and adults following divorce, elite policy-makers differ. They substitute their own ideas about what’s good for us for our own. Stated another way, they listen to the narrowest of special interests – family lawyers and the domestic violence industry – instead of the vast majority of adults.

Those special interests have their own nests to feather and that gives rise to their opposition to equal parenting that’s been shown by over 50 separate studies to be the best arrangement for kids when their parents split up. Family lawyers understand that equal parenting tends to reduce parental conflict and, when that happens, lawyers’ fees drop.

The domestic violence industry also understands the effect of equal parenting on conflict and therefore on domestic violence during the divorce process. After all, equal parenting promises each parent that he/she won’t lose their child to the other in the divorce. That means they can both relax about what is by far the most contentious and stress-inducing aspect of divorce – custody and parenting time.

Again, lower levels of conflict potentially mean a reduction in governmental funding for DV organizations, a fact not much to their liking.

Plus, domestic violence organizations have a long and shameful history of misandry, so the idea that fathers might actually benefit from a new law tends to stick in their throats regardless of all else.

As elsewhere, the Canadian Parliament should turn a deaf ear to the blandishments of those narrow special interests and do what’s good for the nation’s children. After all, it’s what the voters want. Members of Parliament, what are you waiting for?




National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#sharedparenting, #Canada, #Nanospoll

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