Truth is in a man's actions, not in someone else's blind accusations.

Click for the video
August 14 2020

Re: The system would have fixed itself and this type of behavior would be nonexistent
Bob Saunders audience: Public
I agree that we don't need any more laws. If the judges followed the existing laws, mos...
Father Rights Canada / Unfair treatment in Lethbridge, Con game by mom being played
Not disclosed audience: Public
I am new to all of this, have been separated for 2 months, I have to get "her permissio...
Re: Attorney request of full disclosure letter
Vincent audience: Authenticated Login and access Re: Attorney request of full disclosure letter
AHere is such a letter to the Crown office to request all and additional evidence and d...
Tim Line audience: Public
Some great news to share for once. After hearing absolutely nothing of my 3 girls since...
Father Rights Canada / Looking for help with possible fraudulent use of mep
Not disclosed audience: Public
My partner owes MEP arrears. He doesnt know how to navigate the legal system . He has e...

Authors & content contributions
Member Login
Page Grid

FOLLOW Brainsyntax VIA EMAIL Enter your email address and receive notifications of selective new pages by email.

Join 11080 other brainsyntax email notification followers

Searching for my children

Fathers in distress if you ever need to talk, or just vent, please message us Contact: Fathers Rights Canada
Deadly Epidemic Against Dads


To my children & To those that may be concerned ...
Advocacy Canada
Re: Dilico CAS Ontario covering up child abuse - Audio linked
Robert Layes
audience: Public

It is time for theses ill legit so called child protection agencies to be ordered shut dow...
Aparna Sanwalka asked for her injustice to be published now speaking ill of us
to a lying mother From a terrified mother
audience: Authenticated Login and access Aparna Sanwalka asked for her injustice to be published now speaking ill of us

It comes to our attentions that the story got twisted the moment CAS put up a fight bec...
Re: OCL Children Lawyer Evidence Ontario Family Court Judge
Randilynn Spore
audience: Public

My 7 year old daughter finally recieved a childs lawyer, after the court battle that st...
Corrupt cops and Racisism in the City of Peterborough Ontario
audience: Public

Michael Jack, a former OPP ,a Russian Jew and a former employee of Peterborough...
These officers were part of an Intimidation Team Bracebridge Ontario
Canada Court Watch
audience: Public

Police became aggressive with citizens who had gathered outside of the Bracebridge, Ont...
Re: Injustices by Tom Wood of the Barrie, Orillia or Gravenhurst Ontario court

audience: Public

 in response to the father who just had to pay a lawyer and face Justice Woods rec...
Let's show respect to those that paved the way by continuing to fight for our children
Todd L. Bottom
audience: Public

Always remember that this fight is for our children. Let's show respect to those that p...
My 15 year old daughter does not want to see me

audience: Public

I live in Canada. My 15 year old daughter does not want to see me. The start of this ha...
Ex- wife doesn't allow me to speak to the children tells the children im a deadbeat
audience: Public

Hello, I have been divorced for 6 years. I've always paid my child support and spousal ...
Re: Father Rights Canada / filed restraining order against me
Christopher Mann
audience: Public

She wont get the order unless you spoke with the bf and threatened him. Dont waste your...

★★★ Join brainsyntax

Log On as Member


We must abandon the claim that the family court has been acting in children's best interests

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - FamilyCourt - occupythecourts.ca

How many times have you heard or read the?phrase?”the best interests of the child?”? If you read much about family law and family courts, the probable answer is “more times than I can count.”? Indeed, establish a Google Alert for the phrase and you’ll get links to several articles, court cases, op-eds, etc.?a day, every day of the week.? In Canada the “best interests of the child” has been raised by the Supreme Court to a level of importance that trumps even constitutional considerations. 

So, with the phrase in such common usage and so vital to custody decisions, you might think that it (a) means something and (b) those using it know what it means.

But to an astonishing degree, you’d be wrong on both counts.? In fact,?the phrase is?more intuitive, a?shoot-from-the-hip type of locution.? It’s like a Rohrschach inkblot test; the interpretation given to it by the user reveals more about the user than about the phrase itself.? That’s the point attorney Chris Gottlieb was making in the New York Times recently?when she referred to determinations of the “best interests of the child” as being made “subjectively, inconsistently and often erroneously.”

Gottlieb’s quick and dirty description agrees nicely with what academic researchers have been saying for years.? As I mentioned in a piece not long ago, psychologists O’Donohue and Bradley wrote in 1999 that “[t]here is no useful operational definition of what the best interests of the child actually are.”? They went on to say that both state statutes and psychologists themselves disagree on such basic things as what should be considered relevant to determining a child’s best interests.? And since the necessary variables aren’t agreed upon, appropriate tests haven’t been developed with which to measure the best interests of a child.

And yet, day after day, week after week, year after year, family courts continue opining sagely about the best interests of the child.? Undeterred by a lack of?much on which to base their opinions, courts continue issuing their orders.? It seems that, when wandering in the wilderness, the important thing is to?avoid appearing?lost.

But now Canadian academic Paul Millar has published a book entitled “The Best Interests of Children: An Evidence-Based Approach.”? As the name indicates, Millar wants to do what should have been done decades ago – bring science to bear on the question of what benefits children when it comes to decisions about custody post-divorce or separation.? That is, he takes the novel approach of examining children’s outcomes and attempting to correlate them with things like family structure, gender, parental behaviors, divorce, etc.

His data come from?a variety of sources including the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, but most importantly from the Central Divorce Registry of the Canadian Department of Justice.? Apparently, that’s not public information because Millar had to obtain it in its raw form via a freedom of information request.? His analysis of the data is “the first… analysis of custody data published to date, and the first attempt at predicting legal case outcomes using multivariate modelling techniques.”?

I’ll write more about Millar’s book in the future, but for now I want to focus on one aspect of his work – gender.? As I said, Canada enshrines the “best interests of the child” as the most important factor in child custody decisions, or at least that’s what the courts repeatedly?say.? But what the courts repeatedly do?is give primary custody to mothers; in fact, about 90% of primary custody in Canada goes to mothers.? As Millar says, the custody data from the Department of Justice “illustrate a pronounced reliance on stereotypical notions of gender roles: parental gender is by far the most important predictor of custody outcomes.”? So you’d think that the best interests of children must be highly correlated with gender, specifically the female gender.

But that’s not true.? In fact, “psychologists performing custody evaluations regard the gender of the parent among the least relevant considerations in custody decisions.”? What Millar calls “simple, bivariate analyses” support the conclusion that using parental gender to make custody decisions is in fact?contrary to?children’s interests.

But maybe those psychologists are wrong; maybe other factors tend to congrue with maternal custody and result in better outcomes for children.? Millar studies those other factors via a multivariate approach and determines that “parental gender is…in fact not a predictor at all of any of the child outcomes examined here; that is behavioral, educational or health outcomes.”

Therefore, “there appears to be a disconnect between the theoretical criterion of custody determinations – best interests – and what actually plays out in the context of the justice system.”? And given the fact that family courts and family law say one thing – that children’s best interests are paramount – and do another – award primary custody on the basis of a factor (gender) that fails to promote children’s best interests -?”we must abandon the claim that the court has been acting in children’s best interests.”

Those opposed to fathers’ parental rights will make the argument that, if gender isn’t related to children’s outcomes, what difference can it make that 90% of primary custodians are women?? Or, as Millar asks “if either side of [a] coin is equally good, why then should it matter which side it falls on?”? His answer is nothing more than the obvious – that a judicial bias against fathers rules out half the population of potential caregivers, many of whom would be better than their female counterparts.? That necessarily means that many “children aren’t getting the best available parent,” which of course thwarts the ‘best interests’ goal.

Focused on psychology and child wellbeing?as he is, Millar omits the other important answer to the anti-dad crowd – parental rights.? If children’s outcomes are paramount, as they should be, and the gender of the parent is not an issue in child wellbeing, then the issue of parental rights takes on additional importance.? Since children aren’t affected one way or the other, it is both morally and legally wrong to exclude one sex in favor of the other in making custody determinations.

Millar’s book deals with much more than just gender and children’s outcomes, but on that issue alone, it should result in major policy changes in the way custody decisions are made.? If courts and policy makers truly place the value they claim to?on the best interests of the child, they will radically change the way in which custody is decided in Canada.

But, as Millar points out, we’ve seen something like this before.? In 1986, Canada passed its second Divorce Act which clearly articulated a gender-neutral approach, going so far as to remove all gendered terms such as ‘mother,’ ‘father,’ ‘husband’ and ‘wife.’? That came against a backdrop of the establishment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, which itself emphasized gender neutrality.? But,
[p]paradoxically, the introduction of this legislation with its gender-neutrality coincided with a proportionally larger share of sole custody to the mother…? The introduction of modern ideas of gender neutrality has made little discernible impact on this apparent reliance (on gender) despite a manifest policy of the gender-neutral standard that is the ‘best interests of the child.’

That paradox is explained by the fact that, coincident with the the new divorce statute, came a squall of bad research purporting to show that, in some way it was mothers – not fathers -?who?lost out?in custody decisions.? Judges were duly “educated” by same and the concept of gender neutrality, so?revered in some contexts, went by the boards in that of child custody?and remains there.

The point being that,?however clear the case may be for equalizing maternal and paternal custody, there will always be those for whom the concept is anathema and who won’t?hesitate to use bogus arguments and bogus?statistics to back up their biases.

The book is “The Best Interests of Children: An Evidence-Based Approach,” University of Toronto Press, 2009.? Buy one and send?it to your friendly MP or Congressperson, perhaps with some key passages underlined.?

Occupy the Courts in Canada We need judicial accountability in courts or an independent alternative to corrupt courts.
Posted on September 8, 2013 
Canadian Researcher: ‘We must abandon the claim that the (family) court has been acting in children’s best interests’ 

September 2nd, 2010 by Robert Franklin, Esq. 


Links to attachment(s):

last update
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
legal disclaimer
Add new
Share this Page
Generate PDF file
Generate document We must abandon the claim that the family court has been acting in children's best interests
Download PDF
Search Google about
Search bing.com about
Content feed
RSS content feed: We must abandon the claim that the family court has been acting in children's best interests
Notified by email email notification on replies to this page: We must abandon the claim that the family court has been acting in children's best interests click here and receive notification of this specific page
Add your Comment Reply add your comments to: We must abandon the claim that the family court has been acting in children's best interests Reply to in a new window
Create a new page
0 replies
Access Brainsyntax

★★★ ★★★ Become a brainsyntax Member ★★★ ★★★

Access non public pages as Member
Introduce or record new content We are also assisting with content placement, subjects: Family Courts, Family Law Cases, Parental Alienation, Lawyers & Judges, Obstructions of Justice, Police, Courts, spiteful ex's, Hostile aggressive parenting, injustice, malice, obstruction, oppression and many other subjects ... Contact us

★★★ ★★★ Brainsyntax Members, Add new content, build the brainsyntax.com application ★★★ ★★★
Back || Home
Latest pages on brainsyntax.com: