From the Failure of Family Court to Equal Shared Parenting:
Moving Beyond the Gender Paradigm
Friday, March 21, 2014, 8PM
Ramsay Wright Laboratories, Room 110
25 Harbord Street
This event will occur on the campus of the University of Toronto
Hosted by the University of Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Society.
Dr. Edward Kruk, author of the new book “The Equal Parent Presumption” and newly elected President of the International Council on Shared Parenting will join us at the University of Toronto Friday, March 21
Short talk description
The family law system is broken. It is biased against shared parenting responsibility, its adversarial system fuels parental conflict and family violence, and it is particularly damaging to the father-child relationship. But there is hope. The public overwhelmingly supports a new paradigm: the equal shared parenting presumption. Dr. Edward Kruk will discuss his research, put forward a new legal framework for equal parenting in Canada and comment on current legislative efforts to change the system for the better.
This presentation will examine fathers’ and mothers’ perspectives on their children’s needs in the divorce transition, and their responsibilities in relation to those needs, as well as their views on the responsibilities of social institutions to support divorced parents. Fathers’ and mothers’ views of the salient issues regarding post-divorce parenting, with a focus on the process and outcome of child custody determination, are examined. It will be argued that both non-residential fathers and mothers experience the harmful effects of existing child custody laws and socio-legal policies, and speak strongly to the need for family law reform in the direction of an equal shared parenting presumption. Both women and men support the establishment of such a presumption in equal measure, as both mothers and fathers are at risk of becoming disenfranchised from their children’s lives via “primary residence” judgments. The need for inter-sexual dialogue on the matter of parenting after divorce is urgently needed, and divorce scholars, practitioners and policy makers are urged to abandon the dominant gender paradigm in regard to the legal determination of parenting after divorce.
About Dr. Edward Kruk
Edward Kruk is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, specializing in child and family policy. He has practiced in the fields of welfare rights, child protection, school social work, hospital social work, and family services. He is currently teaching and practicing in the areas of family mediation and addiction.
Edward’s first book, Divorce and Disengagement: Patterns of Fatherhood Within and BeyondMarriage, was the first in-depth study of the experiences of divorced fathers and the phenomenon of father absence after divorce. His second book, Mediation and Conflict Resolution in Social Work and the Human Services, explores the application of mediation in eighteen fields of practice, with a focus on theory and practice relevant to each field. His third book, Divorced Fathers: Children’s Needs and Parental Responsibilities, examines fathers’ perceptions of their children’s needs in the divorce transition, and parental and social institutional responsibilities to those needs. His new book, The Equal Parent Presumption: Social Justice in the Legal Determination of Parenting After Divorce, based on emergent trends of egalitarian parenting and non-adversarial conflict resolution, outlines a “best interests of the child from the perspective of the child” and a responsibility-to-needs approach to post-divorce child and family policy.
He writes a popular monthly blog, “Co-Parenting After Divorce,” for Psychology Today, and he has been cited as “Canada’s leading child custody expert” by two national newspapers. He was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service and research on the best interests of children of divorce, and was elected as the inaugural president of the International Council on Shared Parenting.
He is a founding member of the Bounce Collective, a group of progressive West Coast DJs known for their diversity of musical styles, and all-night dance parties.
For a full bio please see www.edwardkruk.com. For more on the International Council on Shared Parenting please visit twohomes.org/en_html