*iStock photo
*iStock photo

Dear Sir, 

We are excited to find, through much research, that what is best for children from dysfunctional families is shared parenting. 

For years we have been speaking of the importance of shared parenting for families of separation/divorce, and educating society of its benefits, especially for the children. 

We are encouraged that the message has spread and gained great momentum.  Consequently, we applaud and would like to highlight, that a new legal group was formed, named Lawyers For Shared Parenting [L4SP] (Canada),  who state: “We are in favour of equal shared parenting for children of divorced or separated parents.

“The starting point for division of children’s time with each parent should be equal, as should responsibility for decision making,” say member lawyers Gene Colman and Brian Ludmer.

Many of the lawyer members pointed out that the 50/50 starting point will produce better results for children and reduce family conflict. They further stated that “there is little empirical support for the starting point in the discourse being one ‘primary parent’ and the other who the children ‘go visit occasionally’ ... A divorce/separation is no reason to marginalize one parent from their children’s lives [and leads to] expensive litigation…. which is both wasteful of family and Government resources and serves no useful purpose”. 

Sexist stereotypes

In addition, “myths and sexist stereotypes about parenting roles need to be challenged... Much of the conflict in family law is encouraged by the ‘winner take all’ mentality of child custody disputes. Take away the incentives for ‘winner take all’, [and then] parental conflict is significantly reduced”.   

Most of these family law lawyers are convinced that equal, shared parenting is appropriate for the majority of families and they expressed that there is little to no empirical support for the benefits of 70/30 timeshare verses 50/50 timeshare custody arrangements, or visiting every other weekend.  

We are delighted by this trend and support by these professionals, and applaud them for their honesty, bravery and determination.

Hopefully, this will assist in making shared parenting a reality in Bermuda, as we have been promised for many years. 

We are hoping for some bravery to spill over into Bermuda. There will be huge benefits to Bermuda’s children and society by adopting shared parenting into law. It would address most of the economic drainage on Government’s resources such as the welfare, education, criminal and law enforcements, mainly created by sole custody cases, as research reveals. 

This will produce a win-win for children and society. We are hoping that community-minded professionals will take this research seriously and follow the initiative established by the Lawyers For Shared Parenting, among many others.

Edward Tavares

Childwatch co-founder