LW4SP seeks to promote a rebuttable presumption of Equally Shared Parenting in family law.
Our Mission Statement
Leading Women for Shared Parenting is a children’s advocacy group which believes in a rebuttable presumption of equally shared parenting as the starting point in all family law matters involving time-sharing (formerly referred to as custody). We also believe in the implementation of policies and practices that encourage maximizing the involvement of both parents in the lives of their children regardless of the parents’ marital status.
- To educate others, including politicians, policy makers, judges and the media, that Equally Shared Parenting has repeatedly been a policy supported by roughly 80% of the public with no difference in the level of support expressed by either gender. (a)
- To build a constituency, comprised of women who support the role of both parents and believe in the implementation of a rebuttable presumption of Equally Shared Parenting in Family Law, including Mothers of Sons, Grandmothers of Grandsons, Stepmothers, Paternal Grandmothers, Non-Custodial Mothers, Equity Feminists, Child Advocates, and others who work in the family law system or with separated families.
- To work jointly with men, both within LW4SP and externally, to promote policies in family law which incentivize maximizing the involvement of both parents in the lives of their children, and to end policies which promote minimizing the involvement of one parent without just cause.
- To encourage and serve as a vehicle from which meaningful dialogue can occur amongst educated, experienced, well-intentioned experts on subjects related to equally shared parenting including domestic violence and child support.
- To support both genders in family law by fostering an environment where women and men work together for the betterment of all, and to oppose those who promote policies to assist one gender at the expense of the other.
- To promote the distribution of factually based research on the impact of current family court practices as well as what is best for children, parents and families.
(a) Sources include nationwide polling in Canada in 2007 and 2009, the 2004 Massachusetts non-binding ballot initiative and research performed by Dr. William Fabricius in 2010 and 2011.
- Our children deserve the very best we can give them and current family law policies / practices are outdated and far from the best we can offer.
- We Can Do Better…
- We can do better than forcing families to go through an adversarial process which encourages Parents to fight over their children, creating acrimony, bankruptcies and splitting or estranging children from one parent.
- We can do better than separating children from one of their parents for all but times they are allowed to "visit".
- We can do better than separating children from half their family, which includes: one of their parents and their grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles and cousins on that parents’ side.
- We can do better than having child support formulas which financially encourage the minimization of one parent in the lives of their children and which forces one parent to try and "buy" time with their children.
- We can do better than to establish court ordered visitation, but not enforce those orders or penalize those who violate them.
- We Believe...
- We believe the lack of Fathers in their children’s lives has become a crisis, which is in part due to laws and practices within the family court system.
- We believe the adversarial approach employed in family law poorly serves the interest of children. Better ways exist to align the interests of parents, children, and professionals serving families which lessen conflict between parties and reduce conflicts-of-interest within professional groups, and legislating and governing bodies.
- We believe women also suffer from current family court practices as daughters who’ve lost relationships with a parent, mothers of sons, grandmothers of grandsons, aunts, step mothers, paternal grandmothers, sisters of brothers, non-custodial mothers, etc.
- We believe equally shared parenting is best for children.
- We believe there is no evidence that current statutes and family court practices reduce parental conflict and that any attempt to lessen conflict by reducing parenting time is misguided.
- We believe the majority of “high conflict” is caused by substance abuse, mental health issues and domestic violence, and that other parental differences should not be similarly classified.
- We believe research and ballot initiatives have continually shown, between 78% and 87% of the public supports a rebuttable presumption of equally shared parenting with no difference in the opinion of women and men or any difference among political ideologies.
- We believe fathers want more time with their children for the same reason as mothers; parental love, and firmly reject claims fathers only desire their children in attempts to lower child support payments.
- We believe that all children should, first and foremost, be physically and emotionally safe, even if that means restricting access to a parent when safety is a concern. We also believe that children’s caregivers should be safe.
- We believe, and research shows, that false allegations of domestic violence, partner abuse, or child maltreatment against a parent is harmful to children, and post-divorce parenting; it is against the law in many jurisdictions and should not be tolerated by the legal system.
- We believe biases exist in society and government institutions that limit and hurt both sexes and that women and men must work together for the betterment of all.
- LW4SP was formed, to provide a platform for and to recognize a unified voice of strong women who want to do what’s best for children: a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting in family law, family courts, and social expectations.