June 16, 2016
By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS Founder and Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization

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.

On May 21, 2016, a conference was held at the University of Athens entitled “Shared Parenting: The Need for Institutional Reforms.”

Organized in part by my friend Yannis Paparrigopoulos, the conference featured speakers about equally divided between mental health experts and attorneys. Specific topics included, “The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Danger of Error of Law;” “The New Role of the Father on Character Building of Children;” and, from Canadian professor Edward Kruk, “The Large Consensus on Shared Parenting after Separation or Divorce.”

Next, a conference to be held on June 22 in Strasbourg, France is titled “Implementation of Shared Parenting in Europe and Implementation of the Resolution 2079 (2015).” Resolution 2079 refers to the stand taken by the Council of Europe in advocating for shared parenting. Among the attendees will be Mrs. Hetto Gaasch, who was the chief author of Resolution 2079. The meeting has been organized by the International Council on Shared Parenting, an organization with which National Parents Organization works closely.

Finally, a conference will be held in London from July 8-10, 2016 titled “International Conference on Men’s Issues (2016).” This conference has been organized primarily by the organizations Justice for Men and Boys in association with A Voice for Men. Speakers and delegates will attend from at least 17 countries, including the United States. While family court gender bias against fathers will be one of the topics under discussion, the conference overall has a broader focus.

These developments certainly speak to growing awareness of the need for parental equality and shared parenting in family court.

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