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Sun 30th September 2012

Protecting Children Through Separation

Filed under: General — MurrayBacon @ 8:50 pm

Making the Marriage Licence Worth Something?

While the marriage licence is being applied for, we could be reporting to parents on their parenting skills and resources. This is based on financial resources, employment skills, day to day parenting skills and mental health. Family backup is a little part of this equation, for time support, as well as parenting mentoring and financial support.

The arrangement suggested below gives parents good incentives to work together, to develop and protect their children. If one parent wishes to separate, they must obtain the agreement of the other parent, before the children are removed from the marital home. (If DV was claimed to be an issue, then proof would be required, before any sanctions were applied or the care of the children altered in any way.)

Parents who might be tempted to use Parental Alienation would clearly see that if they separate, they will get the lesser amount of care, or even risk having the children removed completely. On separation, shared parenting can be seen to offer better protection for the children, especially for parents with poorer skills.

When the majority caregiving parent has mental illness, then they may not listen and respond as well to the baby or child(ren). This may be a serious problem for the child(ren), at a much lower level of mental illness, than is required to reach formal diagnosis level. (Formal diagnosis of a mental illness is set to match the level at which an adult will generally have difficulties with self care in the community and thus needs hospitalisation. To protect children’s development, the level at which parenting skills are impeded is much lower than DSM 4 formal diagnosis level. Unfortunately, one of the diagnoses which is more hazardous to parenting of babies and young children, is depression. At present, depression is more common in women than men. Different diagnoses have differing degrees of hazard, for children’s healthy development. If a parent is aware of low level mental illness and obtains regular support with parenting, then the risks may be much reduced.. Unfortunately, many parents refuse help and this may leave the baby or children at a surprisingly high risk of damaged development )

If protection of children is given priority, then it becomes clear that economics results in a poorer material standard of living if the parents have to sacrifice income earning, to make sure that the children’s developmental and social needs are being protected. Given that generally we have a much higher standard of living than our grandparents enjoyed, parents should be able to accept this sometimes harsh compromise?

By clearly communicating to a couple their present parenting skills and the prospect of later improvement, they can see what the risks are if they separate. This also gives poor parents a strong incentive to improve their skills and also to appreciate what their relationship is worth to them. In some cases, when the prospective partner’s parenting skills are poor, the person may decide to look for another partner, so that the risks are lower.

Forewarned is forearmed!

The listing below shows the expectations for when children are under 7 years old.
(The % of population is given for NZ existing society. As parents take parenting training that does improve their skills or reduce their problems, then they can move from weak to good.)

———————————————————————————————-
Both parents have good parenting skills and resources (40% of population)

Separate the child care plan for young children can be anywhere between 0.1 to 0.95 either way, as long as it is by mutual agreement.

————————————————————————————
One of the parents has poor parenting skills (30% of population)

Together, your children should not be in care of the weaker parent alone for more than 5 days.

Separate (and there hasn’t been further parenting improvement) the child care plan for young children can be anywhere between 0.4 to 0.95, as long as it is by mutual agreement. The child to be in the care of the weaker parent for no longer than 3 days at a time, unless additional supports are arranged. (Typically for the parents in this situation, 60% of the time the weaker parent is the mother. Parents in this situation need to consider whether they can get by with the weaker parent working?)
————————————————————————————

One of the parents has very weak parenting skills (20% of population)

Together, your children should not regularly be in care of the weaker parent alone for more than 3 days.

Separate (and there hasn’t been further improvement in parenting skills), then the child care plan for young children can be anywhere between 0.7 to 0.9. The larger amount of the care must be with the stronger parent. The child to be in the care of the weaker parent for no longer than 2 days at a time, unless additional supports are arranged. (Parents in this situation need to consider whether they can get by with the weaker parent working?)
————————————————————————————

Both parents have very weak parenting skills (6% of population).

Together, your children should not regularly be in the care of either parent alone for more than 3 days.

Separate (and there hasn’t been further improvement in parenting skills), the children will be removed immediately and adopted out.
————————————————————————————

Both parents have very weak parenting skills and unlikely to improve (3%)

Together with planned social supports, you may have children. While together, your children should not regularly be in the care of either parent alone for more than 2 days. [Parents who were seriously emotionally neglected or abused as children, may be in this category.]

Separate, the children will be removed immediately and adopted out.
————————————————————————————

Both parents have very weak parenting skills, with children at serious risk (1%)

If you have children they will be removed immediately. [Parents who were seriously emotionally neglected or abused as children, may be in this category.]
————————————————————————————

(A solo mother would be assessed in the same manner, without relationship and applying the criteria for separation immediately.)

______________________________________________________________________________

For parents who have experienced separation:
Think through the impact of familycaught$ and separation on your child?

Although your child doesn’t have the life experience to work through the value of that familycaught$ hearing, it is important that someone does. You are the only person who has access to the situation and knowledge of alternatives too.

How good would the parenting environment for your child be, if before separation, before removing the child from a day to day relationship with both parents, the new parenting plan had to be agreed?

If the protection of the children is the important point, then surely it should be negotiated in good faith, not by familycaught$ fait accompli negotiation?

The reason that good faith is important, is that dysfunctional familycaught$ negotiation seriously damages the parenting relationship and the parent’s resources for bringing up the child and their own ongoing lives. Resources are important to be able to parent well.

Why hassle over child support cash transfers, a little more or a little less, when the parents have been asset stripped over much larger sums of money during relationship property separation?

Much of the heat for separation negotiations comes from unrealistic expectations of the marriage and unrealistic expectations of separation too. Could this be ameliorated by requiring a tentative relationship property separation plan to be submitted before a marriage licence was issued? 3 days is all it should take, to change unrealistic expectations to realistic, or to decide that our accountants just never could get on with each other?

I hope that a more careful approach to parenting will allow less surprises, better indication if help is needed so that the right help is given in time for it to be useful and also to dissuade parents who will have great problems from having children at all.
MurrayBacon.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

61 Responses to “Protecting Children Through Separation”

  1. Skeptic says:

    Thanks Murray.
    I’m sure your heart is in the right place, but I fear feminists would just jump on such a scheme to define ‘poor parenting skills’ to be a mostly male as in fathering thing…..and the femily caught$ are awash in feminists and their white knight mangina enablers as it is.
    Also I fear such a scheme overlooks the 100 ton neon yellow day-glow elephant in the room leading to such horribly high rates of divorce in modern times in western countries in the first place – ‘no fault’ divorce laws. Try stuffing that pandora back into the box.
    Basically I think marriage as an institution there has been wrecked.
    Guys getting married in NZ should realize they aren’t really married to a woman so much as married to the state and a whole army of money grubbing divorce industry leeches waiting in the wings for the next host.
    Cheers for trying though.

  2. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic, there is a large amount of research through the last 30 years detailing the risks to children’s development, from parental poor mental health and other skill and resource deficits. Presently, these studies are not being applied, to serve society. I am just saying, lets make use of this information, to protect parents from getting out of their depth.

    Sure, there are difficulties with diagnosis, but where the incentives are largely alligned to giving help, it is better for people to accept help, than to deny and then have the worst possible outcomes. Better still, if some people can be persuaded to not have children at all.

    Our present child protection system of free for all and try to mop up the pieces afterwards, is an almost complete failure to protect children. A much more proactive approach is required to better protect children, from incompetent parents. CYFs do as much damage, as they do good. After the event cannot protect children, as the problems only become obvious, when far too much damage has already been done. CYFs do a lot of harm to parents, incidentally maybe, but it still is harm.

    If young marriage hopefuls can be protected from their own unrealistic expectations, then most of the heat can be taken out of separation. Trying to put old men’s heads onto young shoulders has always been a failure. However, this is no reason to fail any worse than we have to. The better information that marriage prospects can have about each other, the safer their decisions can be, especially for their children.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  3. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    I don’t doubt the 30 years worth of research exists.
    I think such research is valuable too.
    I just doubt marriage under ‘no fault’ laws period.
    You say “If young marriage hopefuls can be protected from their own unrealistic expectations, then most of the heat can be taken out of separation”.

    True, but I don’t expect young hopefuls to always young hopefuls.
    Some (many?) women apparently turn from young hopefuls into cynical opportunists as time goes by and then can and will use the existing divorce industry to get an exit from marriage with large benefits whilst crushing their ex husbands and creating parental alienation.
    This site alone, is testament to the epidemic of that process.
    How many kids is it in NZ don’t have contact with their dads these days? Certainly in the hundreds of thousands isn’t it?
    Using the same time period as you have the proof is there over the last thirty years that women overwhelmingly are the ones initiating divorce under ‘no fault’ divorce laws. Now it makes common sense people usually do what benefits them right? So common sense dictates that women must be benefiting from divorcing under ‘no fault’ divorce laws much more than men otherwise they wouldn’t be the 70% or so who are doing it would they?

    You speak of education of couples prior to marriage.
    The matter I speak of here, that every man who thinks he’s married is just a whisker away from being divorced on a whim is something I think every young man should be educated on.
    Like I said previously for men ‘no fault’ divorce is the 100 ton neon yellow day-glow elephant in the room leading to such horribly high rates of divorce in modern times in western countries in the first place

    There’s an old Men’s Movement joke which alludes to this process
    – She got the kids, the house and contents, the car and child support.
    I got every second weekend and this fuckin’ truck!

  4. hornet says:

    Murray, thanks for the email, ill reply soon.

    As for this suggestion, at the end of the day it is the kids who are NOT being protected from BAD BEHAVIOR of BAD MOTHERS, so any new legislation or contractual obligations protecting children – which in turn helps dads must be a good thing.

    Place the Ambulance at the bottom of the cliff mentality is best practice for these family law parasites who deliberately chose to ignore bad parental behaviour – because there is NOTHING binding on a parent currently after separation to behave a certain way.

    I have asked several times of the justice department – why have a nice booklet and video on all the things you SHOULD NOT do to your kids after separation – if there are NO PENALTIES, DETERRENTS or CONSEQUENCES currently for doing all these things and MORE.

    And if your a BAD mother practicing all these methods the system currently ignores it. So they carry on with impunity. why not – there is no consequence of penalty for directly harming children using these methods.

    Lawyers for child are as guilty from my experience – they watch on – protecting Judicial process – while there clients – the children are being harmed.

    The entire family court system and its officers and child support services – watch on and DO NOTHING.

    Thats what is lacking across the board – PENALTIES and CONSEQUENCES if you FK with children in your quest to get more money out of your ex partner, or get back at him using the kids any way you like. PArental alienation.

    The Family court will NOT ADDRESS this aspect of the problem – because this industry would collapse = mothers would be held accountable for a change, fathers would not get ANGRY and react when they behave BADLY using children like they do, and there would be significantly less Domestic Violence. A pipe dream perhaps.

    Nothing will change while the very people practicing family law have an interest in the business it generates, and who refuse to deal with the CAUSE – and refuse to suggest legislation which would go a long way to help stop this.

    ( I have spoken directly with lawyers acting for my ex and for lawyers for child – who have witnessed bad parental behavior by or towards there clients – there response to me as to why they are not doing anything about it – we cant to anything about it – of they wont do anything about it more the point. So hang on – your watching a kid being directly effected and thats your position – they are scum. They should not be allowed to practise law in the family court with that attitude.

    Having a BEHAVIORAL expectation checklist which parents MUST sign into at SEPARATION – with Consequences if you breach any of the rules would go a long way to reducing the use of CHILDREN in this sick game the state currently supports.

    Having all lawyers practicing in the family court bound by the same work ethic standards which BIND them to report and deal with bad behavior by there client with consequences for them and the client is also required, because family court lawyers are also part of the problem – they deliberately encourage these bad practices and behaviors – it helps keep the conflict alive, and it makes things easy when they get the father to react.

    I would have happily signed off on a behavioral checklist – because I do not do all the things the mother gets away with, and I would have been happy to sign off on any consequences if I breached the rules – because again I never carry on like this.

    As an example – The mother – fought tooth and nail to prevent an independent psychological report on the child – because she was the perpetrator and did not want the findings exposed. And when they were exposed at my cost – the system did NOTHING about it – There in lies the problem.

    They are NOT CURRENTLY ACCOUNTABLE. When dads see their kids being harmed = and the state and all its services allow it – they react. To protect there kids. Who would not?

    Hornet

  5. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Hornet, I take your points. The approach I have tried to lay out, is based on protecting children’s development and setup to generally give parents clear limits within which they must care for the children, together or separated. Also to give a reasonable degree of incentive to negotiate in good faith within these limits. By encouraging good faith, the need for any type of service from familycaught$ should be greatly reduced, leaving more family asset for living.

    In my opinion, this is what familycaught$ should have been doing, except that they kept their personal financial interests paramount, rather than the interests of the family and in particular, the children.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

  6. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    for NZ men ‘no fault’ divorce is the 100 ton neon yellow day-glow elephant in the room leading to such horribly high rates of divorce in modern times in western countries in the first place.

    What are you doing to deal with the elephant in the room?

  7. realkiwi says:

    This is a good idea, but the point is not at the marriage licence/agreement, it is with the birth certificate. First, fathers are entitled to be made aware of a pregnancy immediately that it is known, then a combined agreement can be made about whether the baby is wanted and whether the relationship is strong enough to cooperate throughout the child’s life – ie up to 18 at least. Then each birth certificate should A: have two parents details and B: a clause that they will cooperate about the child’s development, health and school issues, ie act like responsible guardians, until the child is 18. Make couples sign it or they don’t get free maternity medical support from taxpayers like us.

  8. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Realkiwi, thanks for your comments. I agree that a parenting agreement before conception is very desirable. If men causally have sex, then they leave themselves very open to being forgotten about.

    Your suggestion is quite close to the old Code of Social Responsibility, published by MSD/National Government about 20 years ago. It was dropped at the time, because there was no practical way of enforcing it. The ability to assess parenting skills has improved much since those days and in my opinion it is now practical to apply these ideas. Also, the cost of unsatisfactory parenting is now better understood and we cannot afford to financially encourage very poor parents to go ahead and have children. (There might be a lot of gnashing of teeth and wailing along the way. But it would be less than what is presently occurring for children and parents now, under the CYFs protect after the damage is done system.)

    If women can get sufficient support from family or elsewhere and the man has had casual sex, then it is hard to see how to protect the man’ interest, when they haven’t taken the most basic steps to protect their own interests themselves?

    A woman planning on solo parenthood would be taking the risk that if her mental health and parenting skills are not good, then she would be risking having the child quickly removed. It is important that potential parents be given an indication of where they stand, before they choose to have a child. Also, if the present parenting skills are weak, but improve-able, then there is a clear incentive to improve your parenting skills before having children and during parenthood.

    Married and working parents are giving too much subsidy to solo and unskilled parents.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  9. Down Under says:

    It is marriage licenCe – you might want to fix that if that is what you are talking about.

  10. hornet says:

    Were touching on actual parenting issues here, which I guess do flow over into the separation concerns we have obviously all experienced.

    In a “HEALTHY” family – where MUM and DAD work together raising kids – it usually falls on DAD to be the one who disciplines – how often do mums tell kids – if you don’t do as I say, Ill call your dad in to speak with you – Dads in a good healthy family are the touch stone called on to keep order and set family values. (Good mums do as well, but dad usually is the one they turn to to enforce them).

    But sadly in a dysfunctional family, where you have horrible mothers who don’t want to commit through hard times – yes it is all too easy for many women to walk away from a relationship – especially when they know they will get the kids, the house and all the fathers financial interests if they stay for a paltry three years – because it is easy to walk away and live alone, well supported by the system at every turn.

    The system currently allows them to actively remove the dad from the family – dads loud voice called on previously for help and discipline in good times, becomes a tool used against him – so he can be labelled a bully, violent abusive etc.

    Look at where the state has made so many intrusions into our lives – removing smacking as an option in a healthy family environment – will only increase more disrespectful children, who grow up with NO DISCIPLINE or values.

    I saw this all the time in the police – who sadly have the unenviable task of having to tidy up the mess when these kids hit the streets and think they can continue with this behavior in public. Usually young males who have been raised solely by the mother who has had NO CONTROL, allowing them to run riot and get away with it.

    Young Men especially need dads to set them on the straight and narrow – but at separation with how the family court actively allows alienation and the many road blocks to these relationships continuing after separation – we see so many dads just walking away altogether because it all gets too hard.

    A Dads ability to Discipline his kids is removed = because if he raises his voice after separation – he is angry and abusive and someone to run from – will likely end up with a violence and protection order against him for life and will never get respect or be listened to by his kids – and so it all falls apart for the kids from then on.

    hornet

  11. MurrayBacon says:

    Thanks for the correction Down Under. We all need to be policed! Accountability is a major factor in together parenting, which helps parents working together (even if separated!) to do far better than separated parents who refuse to be accountable to each other.

    Similarly, the familycaught$ has never improved it quality of service, because it has always steadfastly denied all forms of constructive accountability. This is why it can never get better, until there is a working system of accountability. Incompetents always decry the need for accountability.

    Dear Hornet, I believe that healthy families, both parents can and do discipline. It may be subtle, but both parents do discipline. But I agree wholeheartedly that dysfunctional families often fail because there is a lack of both parents disciplining as required.

    Unfortunately you are dead right about the familycaught$ empowering the weakest parent, as an investment in their future workload of evil and in Government wasted expenses in general.

    I mentioned that one of the more hazardous mental illnesses for babies development is depression. This is more commonly noted in women. However, in general probably men experience more difficulties with mental illness than women, for genetic reasons. Also with associative mating, if one partner has a little mental illness, in general the other is likely too. This is why psych reports should always cover both parents, even if issues are only visible in one parent.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  12. Down Under says:

    and the other two in the text as well…

  13. Skeptic says:

    OK. I get it Murray.
    I see you’ve skipped right past my repeating the same question twice now and you aren’t doing anything to deal with the 100 ton neon yellow day-glow elephant in the room leading to such horribly high rates of divorce in modern times in western countries in the first place – ‘no fault’ divorce.
    That’s your prerogative, but I fear that with the best of intent you’re making a dreadful mistake in simply advocating for yet another layer of bureaucratic interference into family life.
    As if NZers need that!
    Another layer that is susceptible to feminist capture as well.
    I shudder to think of the femily caughts/ Domestic Violence ~ divorce industry, plus the battalion of relationship czars in addition you’re suggesting for Kiwis.
    Frankly that sort of attitude has me scratching my head thinking “What is it with so many of my fellow Kiwis that they want to turn to government bureaucrats to solve their problems?”
    To me that’s weird.

  14. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic, on the contrary – one of the main reasons to move to more objective measures of parenting performance and skills (ie expected future parenting performance), is to protect all parties by giving them better (and the same) information, before they commit or agree to any changes.

    Also for them both to have the same information about what their backout options are, parentally and financially. These options will be slightly different, depending on their human and financial resources. They can give themselves more options, if they can improve their resources, parenting skills or financial.

    Before one party can bailout, they must give notice and make proposals that are within the range by which the children’s developmental needs are met and by the agreement of the other party. Primarily the accountability is between the parents, so this proposal is reinforcing the accountability that most protects children. This reinforces good faith negotiation, not manipulation and fait accomplii. Almost half of all separations are negotiated quite well at present. With an honest Family Court, the less well parents would be motivated to negotiate in the manner of more successful parents.

    familycaught$ would only get a lookin if one party wanted something outside of their allowable limits, or to override the other party’s refusal. Such an overriding would not be given randomly, capriciously or against the children’s objective protections, as commonly occurs at present, in the valueless subjective familycaught$. The intention is that the familycaught$ would in fact reinforce accountability between parents. I accept that the existing familycaught$ judges have spectacularly failed to reinforce accountability between parents, they act to destroy accountability between parents, even though present legislation required such accountability. In a practical sense, they are just relationship vandals.

    The present vacuum of child development and protection knowledge in familycaught$ allows random, corrupt and usurous practice to occur.

    Clearly, the motivations in familycaught$ would need to be rearranged, for the existing legislation to work in the real world Family Court. Public visibility and accountability are the first issues that come to mind. Working oversight by higher caughts is also a necessary condition. Customer accountability can be reinforced, by allowing customer choice of Family Court judges and then paying them accordingly, subject to costs rules such as we already have! You choose a car mechanic or electrician, they do the job and you pay them. At full cost and with responsible division of charges according to costs rules, would deter frivolous applications or perjurous applications.

    I hope this has clarified your query?

    If people can have trust in a working Family Court, then there are many more options available to separating parents. Presently, year and year about options don’t work based on trust in familycaught$, because a party can have their year and then go to a corrupt caught, knowing they can then ditch the agreement and get away with this dishonest manipulation. If we had an honest and trustworthy Family Court, these types of options could be considered by separating parents. By eliminating many options, familycaught$ leaves separating parents an impoverished set of options to choose from. Again, relationship vandalism…..

    By putting negotiations between parents into a user pays environment, parents can better manage their process and costs. If proper costs rules are followed, then there is a workable incentive to negotiate in good faith and minimise the use of formal Family Court. I see this as moving away from the use of Government Courts, compared to the present secret familycaught$ that sells parents their own children, mafia style.

    Best regards,
    MurrayBacon.

  15. hornet says:

    Sceptic, correct – No Govt official or lawyer is going to help SOLVE this problem. Unless of course one of them became a victim of it – or something drastic happens to wake them all up as to the concerns. As for NO FAULT DIVORCE – that is the SHAM portrayed to first timers – but as we all know – the system allows for you to be persecuted by many other means – after the fact – and that is one big mean elephant.

  16. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    your lengthy reply amounts to exactly what I was saying previously – yet another layer of bureaucratic interference into the institution of marriage.
    All of which is susceptible to feminist capture and being twisted into yet more institutionalised misandry. Like NZ men need that!
    Meanwhile the elephant is still in the room.
    Hornet gets it. I’m afraid you apparently don’t.

  17. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic, I am suggesting that the existing layer of familycaught$ bureaucracy be turned into a constructive force using existing knowledge about child protection and be made to work properly, by alligning the incentives of judges to the interests of families, ie children and parents.

    Presently there is a conflict of interest between familycaught$ against families and Government. The employees of familycaught$ can make more money from bungling and featherbedding and they do this mercilessly, in secret. This cruel conflict of interest is not successfully managed by Government or consumers, to protect the consumers. It is managed, against the interests of consumers, by the “judges”.

    As customers, we (Government and families) are crazy to pay them the most to mangle families. We should pay them to give consistent, safe and legal judgements. Presently, we have disconnected the accountability to families and taxpayers, from familycaught$. We have thrown away the very accountability that should protect us. (This parallels the present non accountability of custodial parent to non custodial parent, these “judges” refuse to enforce this accountability, in the same way that they refuse to be accountable themselves. This refusal of accountability feeds dysfunction and waste, of children and financially.)

    familycaught$ should also be accountable professionally, but the Judicial Complaints Commissioner is paid (insanely too much) to write letters back to complainants, saying only that their complaint will not be investigated as there isn’t sufficient funding to carry out investigations. Even if they did do investigations, he doesn’t have any power to do anything reliably useful! No real professional would accept such a job.

    If we compare NZ to UK and USA, we should be disciplining between 2 and 5 per year and terminating a judge every 2 years, but we don’t!

    If we appoint a judge to hear each application and they are not on a payroll all of the time, they have an incentive to serve well and competently. If their decision is overturned on appeal, then they have to pay all costs of the appeal, they have an incentive to build it right first time. Only if they turn out judgements in accordance with the law and reasonably serving families, would the next customer appoint them for the next case. Presently, the familycaught$ doesn’t consistently apply costs rules, so that parties feel free to bring meritless applications to familycaught$. When costs rules are applied, then parties have a large incentive to not bring meritless applications to court. For this to work, parties need to have the same access to correct information about their situations.

    Secrecy is an insurmountable barrier to improving the quality of practice, when the judges are barely marginally honest. Public visibility gives a powerful incentive to get things right first up.

    Think of all the suffering Jayden Hedley would have been saved, if the familycaught$ wasn’t able to milk his parents in secret?

    In this scenario, as the outcomes are much clearer to the public, the number of cases going to hearing would drop to about 5% of the present mafia situation. This leaves parents to sort it out, because it is in their interests to sort it out themselves.

    So, I don’t see that I am suggesting to add another layer of bureaucracy, I am suggesting to largely remove it. For this to work, the incentives must be worked out properly. This process must be based on objective standards for protection of children.

    Thanks, MurrayBacon.

  18. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    Thank you for making yourself clearer.
    I agree opening up the femily caught$ to the disinfecting daylight of public scrutiny would be a grand thing. But Men’s Rights advocates have been calling for that for several decades now and met stiff opposition from careerists like Boshier and his minions creaming the system in the shadows of secrecy. ‘No fault’ divorce guarantees a steady supply of separating couples to feed that beast.
    I now see you’re back-pedaling a bit and want to largely replace one form of bureaucratic interference into family life with another. The replacement regime you’re suggesting would be open to feminist capture, with all those well meaning principles and processes distorted to suit feminist agendas. By the way do you imagine leaving any of that infected organ – the femily caught, would be wise? Wouldn’t the infection tend to spread into your new bureaucracy?

    There’s another set of considerations you haven’t talked about that should be made also about all those parenting skills qualifications that you suggest be part of the equation post separation.
    Namely this – If parents be forced to do parenting courses to gain ‘merit points’, then how often do the certificates remain valid for? Do they have to roll up to do a parenting warrant of fitness at a test center every year? Does taking a sterner advanced test to qualify for having more kids. Who keeps the testers accountable? What mechanisms, and staff exist to handle ‘customer’ complaints. Who trains the trainers. You see where this is going don’t you? A big wasteful messy bureacratic stranglehold over parenting – oh wait, that’s what the femily caught$ divorce industry is in NZ already right?
    Personally I reckon keep it simple. Make the family courts (I can’t even use that term in the NZ context with a straight face) open to public scrutiny and accountability. End the regime of wasteful secrecy which misuses the excuse of remaining secret “in the best interests of the child”. Oh, and one more thing would help –

    deal with the 100 ton neon yellow day-glow elephant in the room leading to such horribly high rates of divorce in modern times in western countries in the first place – ‘no fault’ divorce.

  19. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic, if you were considering separating, would you select a judge who had a history in the familycaught$? I am guessing that from a wide range of people with suitable qualifications, there would be many other people you would prefer to choose. With various judge’s user evaluations available, for quality and price available, why go for a judge who overprices and has a history of failing? The existing familycaught$ “judges” have no workable knowledge of child protection, so unless they retrained, they would not meet minimum standards of knowledge..

    I accept your comment about many parenting courses not being very valuable. One problem is that often the courses are not meeting the needs of that particular parent. When courses admit anyone prepared to pay, without diagnosing their needs, then it is more likely than not, that the course will deliver only poor value. To get value for money from medicines, you need a reliable diagnosis, before taking the right medicine.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon

  20. hornet says:

    What is missing across all walks of life these days – is NO ACCOUNTABILITY – NO CONSEQUENCES. Politicians, judges, lawyers, bad mothers – all seem to get away with every bad decision they make. And of course as a result of this there is no discipline or punishment.

    Look at every aspect of Family court or Child Support investigations – they are more concerned with protecting PROCESS than in dealing with issues. Even when they are made aware of actual factual concerns supported with evidence – the response is – sorry you have not followed process – sorry you have not lodged that complaint on time, sorry we cant address these fact because you spelt FATHER incorrectly – blah blah blah- so the concerns remain, the children suffer harm, dads get persecuted and everyone in the system ducks for cover using manipulated breaches of process to hide behind.

    That is a big concern with the legal profession – murderers walk free because some smart arse lawyer gets his client to plead guilty early on select charges – so evidence cannot be heard against him in the main trial – “process” is being manipulated to get the guilty off – thats not justice – thats corruption – but they get away with it and celebrate the fact.

    Look at the head of our country – ducking and diving claiming not to have heard about serious things directly under his control – I mean does he think we are all thick???? I guess they do. If the leader can get away with it, the reset follow.

    getting off track but its all relevant.

  21. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    I see you are evading answering the questions I’ve asked in post #18.
    I understand they are awkward questions.
    I think you’ve therefore killed the conversation.
    The elephant in the living room remains.

    BTW What gives you the crazy idea that I would want to engage in a ‘marriage’, let alone separate in the NZ Zeitgeist?

  22. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Hornet, you are dead right. NZ “judges” have one of the least onerous accountability systems, really just a dishonest charade. It is up to citizens to see a need for working accountability and to fight through the political process for working accountability. It is a fight that needs to be repeated at regular intervals of time. When our “judges” say that they don’t see the need for accountability, they are telling us that they are not up to the job!

    sIR dOUGLAS gRAHAM confidently said (in Parliament) that we can have faith in the judges, that although the DV Act allows them to make decisions without any hard evidence, that we could rely on these “judges” to get it right! He also sold his name and reputation, for a well paying directorship. His judgement was shown to be very faulty. It is well past time that we evaluated the DV Act. Is it delivering what was promised? Are the costs within what was expected? What sIR dOUGLAS gRAHAM did with the DV Act was far worse than what he did as a finance company director.

    Murderers don’t walk free, they are charged to bankruptcy, just the same as the innocent are!

    But those are all problems that hornets and the fast hot lead department can sort out. I am only addressing better protection of children and their parents, essentially just by making sure existing legislation works according to its plain english meaning.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  23. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic, the chairs in the room look ok, so I don’t see what the problem is?

    More seriously though, I didn’t answer directly, as I felt the answer was already on the table, either in the post above, or in the submission, which I have added the link again.

    It is fairly common for poorly prepared parents to suffer from poor adaptation, or low level mental illness. This can be quite severe, in its impact onto babies and young children. I have suggested we need to more proactively offer (relevant and usefull!) assistance to parents in these situations, before it turns into a disaster. Untreated, this leads many couples to acrimonious separation, when the situation could have been saved, either as a marriage or as an amicable realistic separation.

    However, we have a major problem with “no accountability” divorce, as this leads to decisions about the care of the children being made by a manipulative and less competent parent. (I haven’t said man or woman, as both may do it and the consequences are just as severe either way.)

    When one party to the marriage is sidelined in the decision-making and cannot hold the other party accountable, then the children and the other parent may be seriously disadvantaged. The familycaught$ fails to respond constructively, to protect from this scenario, usually making outcomes dramatically worse.

    I believe that much of the blame laid on “no fault” divorce, arises from people who have unrealistic expectations of marriage, parenting, separation and maybe life too. I have addressed these issues above.

    This is why I don’t see “no fault” divorce as a major problem, but I do see the problems listed above as major problems. I hope I have addressed your question?

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  24. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    The denial of the effects of ‘no fault’ divorce is daft, and dangerous.
    I think that to say that (quote) the blame laid on ‘no fault’ divorce, arises from people who have unrealistic expectations of marriage, parenting, separation and maybe life too is grossly insulting to many folks. There are many millions who were married and thought that meant a commitment until ‘no fault’ divorce laws were brought in under stealth WITHOUT public debate just for starters. Thereafter there was NEVER a public awareness campaign to educate the public as to what exactly ‘no fault’ divorce is and it’s ramifications for family life.
    Those are matters which aren’t trite and don’t warrant glossing over with talk of state bureaucratic ‘parenting certificates’ and so on which however well meaning remain grossly intrusive and in effect would create a ‘family’ police state.
    Think about that Murray. Deeply. I’ll repeat the phrase – a ‘family’ police state.
    Chilling isn’t it?

    I think if you really want to get educated about such matters you would do well to refer to Professor Stephen Baskerville’s “5 myths about no fault divorce”.
    Actually I think we are using the wrong term. The term that should be used instead is Unilateral Divorce, as a cursory glance at what happens to men unilaterally divorced should be enough to inform us there’s most usually plenty of blame leveled at them in the process.

    I’ll leave you with these sobering thoughts from professor Stephen Baskerville –

    Stephen Baskerville states that laws establishing no-fault divorce can be seen as one of the boldest social experiments in modern history that have effectively ended marriage as a legal contract.[92] He states that it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family, adding that government officials can, at the request of one spouse, end a marriage over the objection of the other.[92] He states that no-fault divorce has left fathers with no protection against what they describe as the confiscation of their children.[93]

    Baskerville states that fault has entered through the back door in the form of child custody hearings, and that the forcibly divorced spouse (“defendant”) is presumed guilty.[94] Similarly, other members of the fathers’ rights movement believe that men fail to get appropriate recognition of their innocence as a result of no-fault divorce.[3] Baskerville describes a proposed amendment of no-fault divorce laws that would create a rebuttable presumption that custody of any minor children be awarded to the respondent [who is innocent or does not wish to divorce] regardless of gender. He also notes the predictions of Tim O’Brien, the author of the proposed amendment and a libertarian, who states that the proposed amendment would result in a plummeting divorce rate and reduced negative consequences for children.[95]

  25. hornet says:

    Murray – I agree as you state above that BOTH PARENTS are capable of bad behavior – what I would like to know if we can ever get the statistics – is what percentage of fathers suffer at the hands of mothers bad behaviour – Parental Alienation tactics – versus How many mothers suffer the same treatment at the hands of Fathers?

    Given fathers are less likely to be granted primary care – this would suggest more fathers suffer as a result?

    Most fathers are easily removed from this debate at the hands of accusations of being a Bully, Aggressive Abusive, violent – Protection orders and violence orders. Having seen how easy it is to lodge and get one of these, fathers have a big hurdle to overcome defending those allegations – before they even start requesting time with there children.

    In addition to the deliberate alienation – are more fathers more likely to be deliberately prevented by family court procedures, interpretation and rulings by its officers from seeing there children versus mothers? I would put money on it they are. I have had this situation where my wife and I had the time, the resources and the family to receive a child more – but we were refused without any genuine reason. Deliberately prevented from additional time.

    Similarly with the imbalances in Child Support calculations and the direct discrimination which is apparent – I know of several mothers – mothers now married to effected fathers who are abhorrent of the current practices and rulings – oppressive and overbearing.

    So how many mothers versus fathers are similarly affected by discrimination and overbearing and oppressive Child Support payment rulings and enforcement?

    You see if there is a HUGE IMBALANCE in the numbers of effected fathers versus mothers – then that is discriminatory practice by government regulation. Procedures and legislation cannot adversely favor one group over the other.

    Why is it that the Human Rights commission make a statement to me – that they receive many complaints from FATHERS as to discrimination – in family court and in Child Support decisions – but they as an organization have made a unilateral decision NOT TO PURSUE these complaints. So how many complaints of a similar nature do they receive from MOTHERS??

    Again because a majority of fathers are the income earners in most relationships it stands to reason there are more fathers adversely effected – again if this imbalance massive?

    I am sure if the statistics were sought in the above situations – you would see there was a massive imbalance of oppression, discrimination and treatment of fathers versus mothers in the same situations.

    You see analytically minded – see what you can establish and publish the results here.

  26. Skeptic says:

    Hornet,
    When you write to the ‘Human Rights’ Commission complaining about a book on sale in ALL major book stores in New Zealand called “All men are bastards” and they write back to you saying they’ll do nothing you realize they are feminist sympathizers.
    Misandric bigots dressed up as upstanding humanitarians.

  27. Hornet says:

    Fathers must expose this fact. A deliberate suppression of complaints – in fact the law states it is the view of the person who believes they are being discriminated against which determines if the discrimination exists or not – so how the very organisation set up to take complaints can make a unilateral decision not to act – is totally wrong.

    Again it would be interesting to see the statictics as to how many complaints they have received over say a ten year period from Fathers – and how many they have refused to take action on?

    Similarly compare the numbers of mothers complaining about discrimination by the family court and child support determinations – and if there were ANY at all – what percentage were refused – unilaterally??

  28. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic, thanks for persisting. I used to be critical of “no fault divorce”, but as I said above, I now see the root causes of the problem as “no accountability” of custodial parent, in separation. You cannot really trap any parent into parenting. Even if you could trap them, it is against the children’s interests (dangerous even) to trap a non motivated parent into caring for children.

    The most dangerous thing you can do for children, is to allow the less skilled parent to drive out the more capable parent and leave the children with the more hazardous parent, most of the time.

    Although a mother may claim she has had the primary care of the child, this doesn’t guarantee that the child is best off with that parent. If, if the daily care parent is markedly less competent, the child’s main attachment may be to the other parent, irrespective of hours of time with either. Accountants add dollars or hours, psychologists should add by quality of responding to the child x time.

    In my opinion, men are about as bad as women at alienating the other parent. Just it is less often that men get the opportunity to do it to a woman, than women get the opportunity to do it to men. I like to think men are a bit less prone to such behaviour, but alas not by much. The most important point is that most women and men, given the opportunity to alienate or cheat on the other in financial or other ways, will not do it. If half of society can separate in style, why cannot the other half? The short time horizon people and the mentally ill, tend to have unrealistic expectations, leading to dissatisfaction. I will cheat to get what I want…. what I think I deserve….

    I haven’t said that both parties always have the same level of mental health issues, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. The mentally healthy can see the long term incentives in the real world, to negotiate honestly with each other. The mentally ill cannot see the long term incentives in the real world, to negotiate in good faith. They need the familycaught$ to impose short term constructive incentives, in a manner that they can see – for constructive negotiations to take place and for the interests of the children to be protected. (Please remember that I am talking about low level mental illness, as well as serious.)

    At present, the manner in which we pay and fail to supervise “judges”, leaves them an incentive to go slow and wind up disputes and fail to protect children. They respond to the perverse incentives that we pay them and vandalise our families. I am suggesting that we must pay judges to successfully give separating parents constructive incentives to negotiate in good faith and also to separate in a manner that respects and protects their children’s interests.

    I do like Baskerville’s suggestion: Baskerville describes a proposed amendment of no-fault divorce laws that would create a rebuttable presumption that custody of any minor children be awarded to the respondent [who is innocent or does not wish to divorce] regardless of gender.

    What I am suggesting above is based on that idea, but in some cases it would fail to properly protect the children. So what were the issues that in some cases, would require a different outcome? Parental mental health, parenting skills and resources in some cases might require a different outcome, hence my suggestion.

    I suspect that you haven’t fully understood all of the incentive effects. I have tried to cover most of them, in the full submission. If you want to fully understand my proposal, then I request you read the full submission.

    Fail to enforce accountability:
    – children not protected
    – disputes between parents never resolved and new ones keep arising
    – NCP not protected from manipulation by CP

    Enforce accountability a few times
    – children better protected
    – parents taught to resolve their own disputes
    – NCP protected from manipulation by CP

    Most fathers are easily removed from this debate at the hands of accusations of being a Bully, Aggressive Abusive, violent – Protection orders and violence orders. Having seen how easy it is to lodge and get one of these, fathers have a big hurdle to overcome defending those allegations – before they even start requesting time with there children.

    DV is often used to distract attention away from quality of parenting skills. The familycaught$ is easily fooled, they take the most money and the children’s interests are not properly protected when they give attention to mere accusations of DV and fail to look professionally at parenting skills and child neglect issues. Spot the unmanaged conflict of interest?

    Anyway, this is my best suggestion so far. I am limited, so if other people can point out flaws and problems in this scheme, please do so. Better still, suggest improvements, or something different that is better!

    Cheers, MurrayBacon – delusional axe murderer.

  29. Hornet says:

    I am currently reviewing – Ministry of Justice Papers – Responsibilities for children especially when parents part – first published August 2000 – minster of Social Policy.

    The second paper I have found – Childrens rights and families – proceedings of Social Policy Forum 2000. Published 2001 – A massey university paper. Edited by Stuart Birks issues paper Number 10.

    What is extremely disturbing briefly reading these documents. I am yet to go over them in detail,

    With all the positive recommendations inclosed in these papers – delivered to Government in reviews of the Guadianship act and family Social policy surrounding Parents at Separation and child welfare – written 11 years ago – NOTHING HAS CHANGED FOR FATHERS or for the BENEFIT OF CHILDREN.

    I separated after these documents were created and I was exposed to ALL THE CONCERNS which the papers discuss, and offered solutions to – and yet nothing within the legal framework has assisted FATHERS and children or helped reduce the concerns these papers highlight in DETAIL.

    Is this then not evidence to support a case to take govt to task for deliberately allowing harm to be caused to children – allowing the very same concerns to flourish after then were given a chance to remedy the very concerns they were warned about? The legal profession is similarly to blame for doing nothing to help prevent all the concerns these papers identify and offer solutions for.

    Nothing which was identified by Birks in his review detailing the harms caused to children when they are deliberately denied access to Fathers – he includes Grandparents and extended family = making an interesting analogy – when ONE PARENT is granted Sole Care = the system is effectively reducing that childs access to EXTENDED FAMILY by Half.

    Something I have witnessed first hand.

    I have seen this – where grandparent visits and time with children is NOT granted anywhere in Family court legislation – grandparents being such a huge part of a kids life.

    This is but one of many subjects he reviews and discusses – identifying Problems with historical facts – from NZ and overseas, with evidence of the harm and concerns these problems cause fathers, children and families – he goes on to recommend and propose suggested Solutions for implementation and changes being sought for the Guardianship ACt and Family legislation. Did anyone take notice – appears NOT.

  30. JohnPotter says:

    I can see the merit in your suggestion Murray, but I share Skeptic’s concern about who would define ‘poor parenting skills’.

    Perhaps the ability to accurately assess parenting skills is available in theory, but I sure don’t have any confidence in the current group of professionals reporting to the Family Court!

    I take your point about accountability though; clearly this would need to be addressed well before a scheme like you suggest would become viable.

    I definitely think parenting courses and other support systems for parents are worth developing and publicly funding, as long as they DON’T involve organisations that endorse the white ribbon day hate campaign. I think this would be a far better use of public funds than the current, punitive approach.

    Baskerville’s observations about no-fault divorce are correct, but I suspect it is too late to put the geni back in the bottle now.

    If we removed the perverse incentives currently available to parents who unilaterally divorce (particularly the increased welfare benefits which make many fathers a financial liability to a family), and made more family support services available, more parents might be inclined to hang in there through rough times.

    Murray #29 says:

    The most dangerous thing you can do for children, is to allow the less skilled parent to drive out the more capable parent and leave the children with the more hazardous parent, most of the time.

    This, as I understand it, is pretty much the current feminist argument, of course with an assumption that the less skilled parent will be male.

    So in my view everything comes back to who will assess parenting competence and/or risk, who will train these workers, who will monitor their performance, and who will hold them accountable?

  31. Skeptic says:

    Thankyou JP.
    I’m glad you see clearly the dangers of any running and/or assessing of parenting skills and parenting courses by the femily caught$ – our current bunch of misandric marriage wreckers.
    And yes – “all that assess parenting competence and/or risk, who will train these workers, who will monitor their performance, and who will hold them accountable?” Expensive and NO guarantees of any curtailment to the massive institutionalized defathering of NZ that’s been going on for several decades now since unilateral divorce became by stealth, without public debate, nor any public education the legal norm.

    I also think what you say is true – it’s too late to put the unilateral divorce genie back in the bottle, especially as you rightly point out it’s so highly incentivized for women (the majority of voters) to initiate.
    That’s why I think Murray, with the best of intentions is trying to shut the stable door after the horse has already bolted.
    Personally I think there’s a longer game to be played which involves male fertility, but that a topic for another thread as this is supposedly about strengthening marriage.
    I don’t think it’s possible to strengthen something that’s already been wrecked beyond all recognition.

    – Have you heard of the new divorced Barbie doll?
    – She comes with all of Ken’s stuff!

    – Whenever I date a guy I think, “Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?”

  32. hornet says:

    New Zealands International obligations – United nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Article 16.1 – Children shall not be Subject to arbitrary or unlawful interference with their PRIVACY, FAMILY, HOME or CORRESPONDENCE.

    if this is the case – how is it that Child Support reviews allow the use of evidence garnered through the eyes of a child – sent my the mother to spy on the Childs other family, there home and what they are doing, what they are spending there money on, what they have.

    Why is it also acceptable in the current environment – that the childs non custodial family- DAD- must disclose all its private and personal information to the mother who uses a child in this way – I find it offensive and a complete breach of a fathers and his new families privacy that their entire life must be displayed on a plate to a person they no longer wish to have any contact with – is this not a massive breach of the privacy Act, and also a breach as defined in the UNC Right of the child – which includes the childs family.

    Why have we allowed the system to get away with this for so long??? The last person I want to share any information with is an ex, who has lied, restricted access to my child, and made life very unpleasant. But we currently have these demands made of us??

  33. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear John and Skeptic, thank you for your critical comments. I already share your concerns.

    Even if the science of assessing parenting is immature, it is better than “assessing” as it is presently carried out by familycaught$ psychologists and familycaught$, where custody usually goes to the poorer parent, to put maximum pressure onto the more financial parent. A flip of a coin would make better quality decisions, at a lower cost, or just say 50%/50%.

    However, I have many times seen children taken unilaterally, almost always by their mother, using a claim to be the superior parent. Eventually, after seeing variations of this happen many times and with the passage of time, I realised that the only parents I have heard claim to be superior (male or female), time eventually showed that they were either clearly inferior, or at least not good enough to be able to satisfactorily parent solo. Although I watched situations through time and compared outcomes to the decisions that led to them, I have never seen any such observational studies published in Family Law Conference papers. Despite claims that the familycaught$ is a learning organisation, I haven’t seen this in action in child protection, through 30 years. They do sharpen up their act, in mangling money out of even poor families!

    To achieve the same level of child outcome, cooperating separated parents need a higher level of skill than a stable married couple. One step further down the dangerous path, to achieve the same level of outcome, antagonising parents need a higher level of skill than cooperating parents. This is a contradiction in terms.

    Thus, assuming that the parent’s skills haven’t changed much from a week before separation, to a week after separation, miracles aside, the quality of parenting a couple can deliver must drop through separation. If they cooperate after separation, the drop may be small, as many couples do achieve. If they are barely cooperating, then the quality of the parenting will drop markedly. If the children end up spending the most time with the less skilled parent, then we may have a recipe for child outcome disaster, as statistics show unmistakeably.

    This is why, if the child must end up with only one parent for the majority of the time, it is very important for the children, that this decision be made competently. In most situations, shared parenting is a safe, sensible starting point to start negotiations, unless there is an obvious difference in skills.

    Although my suggestion might sound like a better chance for men, it will bite men in many cases. It would lead to increased pressure on some men to take day to day care. In same cases this may lead to extreme financial pressure, especially if the mother isn’t able or willing to work. In some cases, the mother may earn more than the father anyway. Further down the track, it might lead many men to want a wife who earns at least as much as himself, in case the family ends up depending on her income. Some women will not like that pressure.

    Although I accept your criticisms, I still think that a system along the lines I have suggested is the only practical way to enforce joint parental responsibility / accountability for caring for children. Also, it is important to give parents competent information on their status as parents, so that before separating they can know whether on separation their children would be quickly removed, or they can negotiate to separate and care for the children. In many cases (about 25%), the outcome is that a negotiated separation is fine, but unilateral removal of the children will lead to both parents losing the children. This is a fairly high incentive to wait, sort through the issues properly and negotiate an outcome acceptable to both parents.

    I don’t have good visibility of psych reports. What visibility I have, suggests to me that under 10% of psych reports have some basis in parenting skills and resources, in terms of meeting the sensible needs of the children. If I listen to other people’s comments on psychologists, then maybe less than 5%?

    Maybe familycaught$ psychologists don’t see any particular need to stay up to date in these issues?

    What more do you ask for, or do you want to retain the status quo?

    John Potter:

    So in my view everything comes back to who will assess parenting competence and/or risk, who will train these workers, who will monitor their performance, and who will hold them accountable?

    I agree absolutely. The logical professionals would be psychologists. However, in the present, non-competitive environment, also secretly manipulated by “familycaught$” “judges”, familycaught$ psychologists have spectacularly failed to deliver competent and relevant results, with the exception in my own limited personal observation, of Dr. Madhu Rai.

    However, if the illegal secret manipulation of the lists of psychologists, by familycaught$ judges was prevented and the public could choose psychologists on the basis of the quality of their work, I am confident that they could be a useful and relevant profession, within 12 months.

    Also as John Potter points out, if the perverse incentives built into entitlement to DPB was restricted, to allow for genuine cases of DV, then a major driving force for breaking up marriages would be removed.

    The issue isn’t putting genies back into bottles, it is helping parents with parenting skills, helping them with mental health issues and giving them information to support honest negotiations.

    Thanks for your challenges.
    MurrayBacon.

  34. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    You say #34 you already share my concerns, yet obviously don’t share my concerns about unilateral divorce at all. You’ve made that patently clear several times in this thread. So your words don’t ring true to me there.
    In addition whereas I see unilateral ‘no fault’ divorce as the 100 ton neon yellow day-glow elephant in the room leading to such horribly high rates of divorce in modern times in western countries in the first place – You choose not to recognize that.
    That just goes to reinforce my point about the problem of unilateral ‘no fault’ divorce being the elephant in the room many folks fail to recognize!
    The fact is undeniable to those not in denial that unilateral divorce has existed now for several decades and has not been without significant impact, so the genie JP and I mention is very definitely out of the bottle. Again you don’t recognize the genie even exists
    I’m sorry I have to say that for all your good intent I can’t see the systemic abuse of fathers and kids ending unless divorce itself is curtailed. There are too many with a vested interest in the status quo with their noses firmly in the trough for there not to be a long and bloody battle before changes come.
    You haven’t said so, but perhaps you even have a vested interest yourself in pushing for parenting programs and tinkering with the femily caughts$ in ways you’ve suggested.

    With these thoughts in mind I see no point in carrying on this discussion.
    Readers will decide which views make most sense to them.

    I’ve had my say which has been frustrated by your denial of things I hold as true, yet I am far from despondent. For I think that with things left as they are (which with the massive forces stacked against you I’m convinced they will be for a long time to come)I have no doubt more and more younger men will gradually yet inexorably be forced to understand how terribly ‘marriage’ and relationship laws and conventions in general in NZ are stacked against them and simply vote with their feet.
    Added to which the male pill and other forms of male contraception loom larger and closer every day quickening on the nearing horizon.
    Check out the male pill on sale this year in Indonesia for example.
    If you think we’ve seen a marriage strike and sinking rates of family reproduction (Check japan’s ‘Grass Eaters’ for example, just wait, you’ve seen nothing yet, mark my words.
    The second half of the sexual revolution is already well underway in labs and markets, in online and offline forums around the globe.
    I see more genies coming out of the bottle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g7PLTTcFm0

  35. Peter says:

    If I understand this topic correctly, it’s basically to thoroughly assess each parent’s parenting skills prior to commencing parenting, and again prior to seperation.
    There are several fundemental flaws to this:
    (1) it either imposes state control [testing / assessment] over parents – do you really want to have the state come in and assess your parenting – and what are the standards to be assessed?
    (2) Following on from (1), political correctness will creep in – are you, for example, adaquately covering maoritanga in the home, of teaching girls assertiveness (feminist persepctive); and you pushing a particular religion correctly, or, perhaps not at all? And so on.
    (3) At the time of seperation, one parent (usually the custodial, and usually the female, parent) view of the other parent’s skills becomes incredibly subjective, biased and self-serving. Read into that spitefull, aggreieved and so on. If I was a mother that decided to avvenge my ex through family court, I would simply start listing every past ‘example’ of his incompetent parenting (everything from feeding the child to bedtime setting, tv watching, discipline, his drinking, drugs, swearing etc etc) , and every ‘risk’ he posed (read into that he’s got male genetalia, and (as a male) could be violent), and therefore that he should be denied as much contact as possible.
    All this would be fodder for the family court machine, and will simple benefit the lawyers and professionals, incluing professional supervised contact providers, as we ‘seek’ to have the father’s competency assessed anbd reassessed in a clinical fashion.
    It would not be simply a matter of a two day parenting course. It would be years of wrangling.
    Oh wait. We have that already.

  36. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Peter and Skeptic, I am not sure whether or not you are familiar with the number of children being removed from parents each day, by CYFs. We are talking about 4000 per year, roughly. Despite this, the obvious outcomes linked to child neglect and maltreatment are fairly stable, certainly not dropping significantly. This implies that ambulance at the bottom of the cliff is seriously failing to protect children from neglect and abuse (in marriages and in separation). As a country, we are paying a high price, in terms of crime, lost productivity. The maltreated children are paying a much higher price, in terms of their suffering and damaged relationships.

    Whether we want to look at these issues or not, decisions about removing children from parents must be made and are being made. Most of the people making these decisions have experience as social workers. Probably more than half of these people have the deficits in reading body language, that result from childhood deprivation themselves. Some have social work training (all men are rapists!) for what that is worth?

    I am suggesting that many children are removed that shouldn’t be and many children that should be removed, that are not. The outcome statistics suggest that if anything, we should be removing many more children than we are. We cannot afford to do this, even if we wanted to. Outcomes for removed children are not that much better than for children not removed, so we obviously have huge problems, in CYFs and familycaught$ achieving what they are paid to achieve. A major revision of child protection is required.

    Similarly, protection of children through separation is disastrous too. Protection of the non deciding partner through separation is also disastrous, criminally so.

    These dysfunctions largely relate to lack of knowledge, poor mental health and perverse incentives. If we think these issues through, then we can get most people to respond more constructively to these situations, with a minimum of external control. For example, when women and men have different expectations of marriage or of separation, then we have a recipe for disastrous dysfunctional negotiations. If the familycaught$ is a large factor in supplying misleading information, then either destroy it, or replace it with something more workable.

    Where social welfare benefits provide perverse incentives, then we need to think through how to allign incentives with constructive responsible behaviour. This is actually very difficult to do. Until we complete this process, our attempts to help individuals will create as many problems as we save. This is costing us $billions per year and the problems created are long lasting.

    Some parents are unable to respond to parenting assistance. Continuing to help them is just further disadvantaging their children. We must look at ways of identifying these parents earlier, try to persuade them to not have children at all or to arrange a social support system to guide and support these parents through the parenting years. This is very invasive, as you have already suggested. But the present alternative of leaving children with dangerous parents (ie will probably or certainly emotionally neglect their children) is leaving society with costs we cannot continue to support and leaving the thousands of children per year with burdens that no child should have.

    I have the impression that your focus is more on protecting men’s social investment in their marriage. (This is important to me, but…) Although my suggestions are not primarily aimed at that protection, I do believe that they will indirectly have some of that effect. I challenge you to suggest better ways of protecting men’s social interests that will be more effective, than my suggestion of supporting good faith negotiation and protecting all children’s developmental interests.

    The most dangerous thing you can do for children, is to allow the less skilled parent to drive out the more capable parent and leave the children with the more hazardous parent, most of the time.

    Too many men have swallowed the mantra that time with children, or breasts is the main issue. My challenge is, observe, think through the issues, observe many children and their environments. When men stand back and allow women to take charge of childrearing, sometimes they are seriously failing to serve the children. It isn’t uncommon for the father to be more skilled and fathers should have much more confidence in their own skills. Put aside “all men are rapists”, focus on the issues and make a fair evaluation of your own skills. Protect your children!

    As I said above, I am not claiming my ideas are the best, I am trying to get people to bang ideas around and try to move the public discussion forward, leading to ideas that are workable and can make it through the political process.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  37. Peter says:

    MurrayBacon – That CYFS are a bloody disaster is not disputed. They get so many notifiations that they fail to act properly on some cases so severe result in the ongoing physical or sexual abuse – even the death of the child.
    No-one wants to see a child beaten or abused. And maybe the answer in those cases is to seriously limit the level of parenting contact the abuser / offender has with the victim. I doubt any sane person would disagree.

    There will have been seriously incompetent parents since the days of Adam and Eve – or since the forst amoeba left the water, if you prefer.
    However, a massive social re-engineering programme of assessing parents before parenthood, and again at time of seperation, is not the answer.
    All such a programme will result in is the ongoing vilification of men through family court.
    Remember in Sweden a few years ago, there was a move by feminists to train little boys to pee sitting down? Presumably something about the inequality of boys vs. girls, wherein boys have the entire planet as their urinal. Would you want your parenting assessed against such a standard? If your boy pulls wings off flies, is that a sign of a propensity towards domestic violence later in life? If you encourage daughters to climb trees, and they fall and break an arm, is that incompetent parenting? Feeding them fishnChips & coke every day resulting in gross obesity may be ioncompetent – even abusive, given it will ultimately shorten a file span, but should you be rated for parenthood based on what is on their plate each night? What about Tom Cruise? Has Katie Holmes got a case against him because of Scientology beliefs?
    I suggest about 90% of ongoing cases in Family Court revolve around an aggrieved or spiteful, scorned or vengeful – mostly mothers, seeking to simply wipe the fathers out of their child’s lives. All your proposal would do is give them further fuel, as they can seek to have the fathers parenting skills assessed and reassessed in what is already a monolithic institution moving at the speed of evolution of dinosaurs.

  38. Peter says:

    And remember – the mother is never incompetent – just ask them!

  39. hornet says:

    Peter, your on the right track.

    No amount of pre- agreements, mediation or rules to parent will mean anything – unless there is a Penalty, a consequence, some serious accountability if you breach those agreements.

    I do not believe you will ever get two people in the early stages of a relationship or pre parenthood situation to agree on terms for parenting. Not going to happen.

    BUT IF parents Separate – the system knows the problems they will face – so at that stage – to protect the children in the first instance – that is when parents MUST sign up to a behaviour agreement – with serious enforced consequences if they do not.

    As you say, currenenty – an agrieved, spiteful, jealous, envious nasty ex partner – usually mothers – can use the child, and every BAD behaviour there is, to get back at DAD. As you say with the aim of removing Dad from the childs life.

    They get away with BAD Behavious currently because the system refuses to deal with it, and if they did, they will not put in place penalties against mothers who carry on this way. When they do, we will see a massive drop off in conflict, and harm to kids – because until there is a penatly, and a consequence why would anyone stop .

    Thats the problem with the current waffle coming out of the justice department – mediation is not going to solve anything unless there is a consequence if you breach the agreements. If they did that I may consider supporting it.

    But having been to all the system currently offers, mediations, psychologists judical mediations all the usual bullshit, which means nothing if there is no consequence to the one causing the problems.

    Lastly from what I have seen – the system prefers to sit on the fence with every issue – rather than actually making a decisions which actually helps parents – but that requires them to make a stand, take a side and level blame where blame needs to be directed.

    This whimsical, fantasy of appeasement in current society does nothing to help. If I act badly, punish me, and Ill take it on the chin and change my ways – but to let constant – known bad behavior to flourish unabated and unpunished will not stop the conflicts currently littering the family court.

  40. Skeptic says:

    Peter,
    Thank you for your comments.
    I agree with what you’re saying in post #38.

    As regards our present (as compared with recent much lower levels) sky high levels of divorce under unilateral divorce laws I think we have to acknowledge it’s implementation in law has been a wild experiment leading to monumental failure creating massive social fracturing and problems.
    I think it is what is partly responsible for such high levels of child abuse and neglect too.
    It’s important to remember that many millions of kids throughout the unilateral divorce world are stripped of one half of their biological family.
    By contrast when I grew up kids were raised in intact families, not by half a family and a makeshift gerry rigged support system of teachers and social workers, many whom are childless and/or have radical notions about how to ‘parent’ the kids in their sphere’s of influence to boot.
    And when Mom and Dad were stressed there was always the safety valve of available Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles to ship us off to for a few days.
    It was enriching for us kids too. I have many fond memories of basking in the love and benefiting from the mentoring of extended family. The uncle who taught me to play squash, the aunt who show me how to make a decent scrap book etc.
    Sadly for millions of kids today that isn’t the case.

    There’s another thing very much related to the above phenomenon. It’s another 100 ton pink neon lit Elephant in the room that doesn’t appear to get much discussion at MENZ either. To be fair it’s a subject that doesn’t get much airing in our culture at all, but I think is highly relevant to any discussion about strengthening marriage. Incidentally it also explains the behavior of weak men like Head of femily caught$ Boshier, but more on that later).
    It is namely Female Hypergamy.
    However, a vigorous discussion of female hypergamy is happening elsewhere in the manosphere.
    I think this article here for example is superb in spelling out how female hypergamy relates to modern day levels of divorce and every man visiting this site who hasn’t done so already would do well to read and reflect on it –

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/women/834/

  41. Been There, Done That says:

    Are you determined to turn this thread into a discussion about divorce, Skeptic?
    [granted, divorce usually follows separation]
    Right from response #1 through #41, you appear to talk mainly about divorce & divorce laws; not about parenting competencies.

    And to MurrayBacon, Sad that anyone, much less a man, would somehow seem to equate parenting competency linked or dependent on … ‘financial resources, employment skills, day to day parenting skills and mental health’. Does that suggest poor, unemployed and people with mental health issues should not be parents? Where would the list stop? Drinking (how much)? Smoking? Muslums? Left handed people?
    I don’t disagree that some socio-economic disadvantages seem to beget certain societal issues, but EVERYONE has their failings. I would like to think that the truly open minded would simply state that shared parenting post seperation would be the default pattern, a societal expectation. Not a right, but an obligation, and if one or the other party opt out, then penalise them (by whacking on child support!). It took two of you to make a child. It takes two of you to raise the child right through to adulthood (and maybe beyond).
    [and likewise, if either party plays silly buggers in family court over the other party’s parenting abilities, then penalise them properly too].
    Whether I feed my kid greens every night, or give her $20 pocket money a week, whether I let him stay up to watch Friday Night horrors, or let her run free in the park (unsupervised), give him a glass of wine with his sunday roast, all of these and many other things are not parenting competencies, they are parenting styles, and I most certainly do not need any nanny state telling me how to raise my child, testing me, or forcing me to agree these matters with my ex.

  42. Skeptic says:

    Hey Been there Done that,
    Take a look at the header above.
    You know, it’s what we refer to as the TOPIC of the conversation.
    What do you see?
    Myself, I see the words “Protecting Children through separation”.
    Now ask yourself a simple question “Is a divorce a kind of separation”. Duh!
    Now understand – Yes, I’m making some comments about divorce.

    And I agree, keep the nanny state out of parenting as much as possible.
    They’ve made a right royal fuck up of it so far by disempowering and supplanting natural parents over the last few decades since unilateral divorce came in.

  43. Been There, Done That says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, Skeptic.
    Yes, the TITLE of this TOPIC reads “Protecting Children Through Separation”. I read that. The NEXT LINE reads “Making the Marriage Licence Worth Something?”. I read that too. The CONTENT of the post, which I also read,

    While the marriage licence is being applied for, we could be reporting to parents on their parenting skills and resources. This is based on financial resources, employment skills, day to day parenting skills and mental health. Family backup is a little part of this equation, for time support, as well as parenting mentoring and financial support.

    This, and the bulk of the balance of the CONTENT, talk largely about establishing the competency of parents to parent. You know the sentence that reads

    “If one parent wishes to separate, they must obtain the agreement of the other parent, before the children are removed from the marital home.”

    It does NOT suggest “If one parent wishes to separate, they must obtain the agreement of the other parent”. That would simply be considered CONTROLLING, which of course the femmies refer to as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. (and yes, I know you haven’t suggested this). It appends “before the children are removed from the marital home.”
    I therefore read this as NOT talking about DIVORCE per se, who is at fault, whether NO FAULT DIVORCE was a good idea or not, or even whether parents should, or should be allowed to divorce. It talks about how to share the parenting of children post separation. It doesn’t talk about how to avoid, nullify or prevent divorce, It talks about assessing parenting skills.
    Come to think of that, that is basically what the TOPIC suggests. ‘Protecting Children Through Separation“.

  44. wtf says:

    haha. skeptic doesn’t change.

  45. peter says:

    My own experiences in family court? as I just stated in another thread:
    I was clearly the biggest pratt in the world; my ex basically had fault with everything I said and did. I was guilty of everything. The worse possible ex husband and father.
    I was also a risky driver; had lousy personal judgement; needed to learn to cook; was possessive & controlling; a potential sexual predator etc; OMG how I could go on!
    Funny thing is, in the preceding 15 years or so knowing my ex, before the birth of our first kid, none of this was ever a problem.
    Guess I must have changed overnight.
    Oh no – that’s not possible, coz it was also raised against me that I could not change!!!!!

  46. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Been There, Done That, thanks for your sharp observations. In the literal sense, you are spot on about the intended topic.

    Although Skeptic is misinterpreting the major objective of the topic, truth is Skeptic isn’t far off the mark. The guts lies in getting the incentives right, so that both parents are accountable to each other. This protects the quality of children’s upbringing and also should protect both partner’s interests through separation. It is the job of familycaught$ judges to enforce accountability between parents. Unfortunately, judges refuse to do this, as this would greatly reduce their long term workload. This is the same as disciplining children, if you don’t do it well, you will be fighting discipline issues for years.

    “No fault” divorce may be provided for in legislation, but that should not mean judges refusing to enforce proper accountability between parents, either for separation issues or for ongoing parenting issues.

    If two parents know that if they separate without obtaining a good faith agreement, then their children will almost certainly be removed from them, there is a powerful incentive to negotiate honestly.

    If a judge wants ongoing work, he knows he must perform competently, then he has a good incentive to deliver a good quality job. Presently, a NZ judge knows he cannot be fired and will not be competently investigated, even for theft from Government, let alone just a poor quality job. history shows that most judges need to be watched, just as carefully as a 2 year old child must be watched.

    Presently, a psychologist can and has been removed from the familycaught$ list, for not pleasing a feminist oriented “judge”, thus corrupting the “judgement” of the remaining psychologists. If psychologists were generally chosen and paid by consumers, then there would be a greater incentive to deliver a competent job. For this reason, the public need good visibility of psychologist’s reports and access to reviews about their quality. This is not happening and the quality has suffered accordingly. If you read my submission, you would see that I suggested that much of the time, psychologist’s reports could be a computer marked psychometric multiple choice questionaire, cost about $5.00. There should be little doubt that the parents were marked identically, largely removing accusation of sex based bias. It is possible to fake your way through these, but if one parent made such an accusation, then a psychologist’s report would be called for on both parents, with the parents paying the cost. As the work for psychologists would drop to about 30%, the prices would drop and with open competition on quality, this should improve too.

    Back to Skeptic’s point about no-fault divorce. I believe that with proper setting of all Government and familycaught$ incentives, to allign with good faith negotiation and protection of the children, there would be much less incentive to divorce. I don’t believe that it should go further than that.

    I like to think of marriage being generally stable, but divorce has its place. People should be free to choose, as long as they are carrying the proper costs of their decisions and not just dumping the consequences of their decisions onto other people and Government. Presently, some people see divorce as the easy option and leave much of the damage and costs on their children, ex-partner and Government.

    In the original post, the section with bold headings is created by thinking through safety issues for the children’s development, for the parent’s circumstances. Although this is the derivation, I believe that it also provides constructive incentives for parents to respect each other and negotiate in good faith. Parents who have the best circumstances effectively gain more freedom and they are the ones who will use it wisely. Parents who have shown that they are irresponsible, get less options, but ones within which their children are properly protected. If parents improve their situation, they may accordingly gain a bit more freedom of choice. Consequences are properly linked to actions, good old accountability…. This isn’t the whole solution, all Government incentives need to be correctly alligned with protecting children and responsible behaviour.

    Thank for shooting at me from all sides…
    MurrayBacon.

  47. Skeptic says:

    BTDT,
    Sorry I didn’t meet the stasi protocol. And you’re so totally correct – clearly divorce has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with marriage nor the title of the initial post using the word separation.
    Whatever was I thinking?
    Let me supine myself to your almighty logic by repeating – You’re right, the author writing a post about separation absolutely, irrevocably, has nothing in the slightest to do with divorce. Totallt. Ever.
    Moi tres malle.
    Big Shame then the author then over several comments engaged in discussion about the politically incorrect dreaded ‘D’ word with me too then eh? You should be whipping him too – the scoundrel! How dare he!

    Naughty Murray Bacon – BTDT will be upset with you too.
    Better get ready for a dressing down from his BTDTship.
    Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

    Please your BTDTship may I have your permission to speak about the ‘D’ word Oh mighty sage?

    wtf – damn right I don’t.
    BTW I like your name so much I’m going to repeat it –

    WTF?

  48. Skeptic says:

    I find it bizarre in the extreme how some folks seem to think discussing –

    Protecting Children Through Separation. Making the Marriage Licence Worth Something?

    should involve NOT talking about divorce, and particularly discussing unilateral divorce.

    Totally mind-boggling logic that!
    I sense deep denial.

    Shall we have a discussion about skydiving without any reference to parachutes next?
    Or perhaps we can discuss road safety without mention of vehicles?

    WTF?

  49. Skeptic says:

    Peter #46.
    Sorry to hear of your all too familiar ordeal.
    Welcome.

  50. Been There, Done That says:

    Cheers for that MurrayB.
    I’m not actually out to dis skeptic (seen plenty others here that are doing just fine);
    There’s good debate to be had around no-fault-divorce. A whole topic in itself.
    I would suggest (as my final thought on your topic), that most men I have seen entering the family court process, are usually bending over backwards to please the ex-her. ‘if I just get the renovations finished, she’ll be happy’; ‘if I just provide more visa credit, she’ll stay’ etc. Instead she just takes what’s on offer, and still bleeds him for more. Its one way traffic.
    What you propose requires two willing sides. a level playing field. where both parties can negotiate. separating couples that can do that, generally don’t see the inside of family court already.
    I just can’t see it working, as women already simply stop at nothing to remove men from the picture. They’ll simply cry abuse all the more readily, and see men marched off the premises.
    The rot is so deep and so endemic, it’ll take a another generation of fatherless children and high male suicide to fix.

    On the other hand (and at the risk of contradicting myself), I do agree a prescriptive formula can be applied. But it’s got to be simple.
    [1] children over 5? 50/50 shared parenting by default, and both parents to live within 10km of the child’s current school. No child support obligations; no dpb. both parents find work the other 50% of the time.
    [2] children under 5? Still 50/50 parenting, even for infants. (formula milk will do just fine). 50% DPB, and find work the other 50% of the time.

    On top of the above, incentivise employers to take on 50% part timers to match the above.
    Either parent opts out, ding them for child support to the other.
    No (and this is where I disagree with your post), NO testing of parenting skills. man will never parent to the satisfaction of scorned or aggreived mother. Just accept the differences. Where very low parenting skills results in severe risk to children, we already have (albeit useless and incompetent) services (ie cyfs etc) covering those. No silly buggery in family court.
    Allegations of abuse, refer them to a district court and treat like real violence, to be proven on real evidence and with real criminal penatlties. Allegations proven false? automatic loss of parenting rights.

    You see (and we probably all agree here – even skeptic), the single real issue with family court (apart from its feminist agenda) is that it gets sidetracked into – essentially – proving or disproving a parent, usually the father’s, ability to parent.
    Remove this hurdle, and the family court is essentially out of a job. Bye-bye Boshier.
    Everything else is basically a violence matter, and the occasional dispute over location or religion.

  51. Been There, Done That says:

    I missed your most recent posts skeptic – I was busy typing (interlaced with a few vodka’s, which help remind me of fine russian women). You’ve probably now already read my sentence “There’s good debate to be had around no-fault-divorce. A whole topic in itself.””

  52. Been There, Done That says:

    And I meant to say for [1] in post #51, also provide 50% DPB …

  53. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Been There, Done That, thanks for your partial support. I understand your concern about measuring parenting skills. However, it must be done, to protect children. Surely it is best to do it objectively and in a verifiable manner? Just because a secret familycaught$ and secretpsychologist cannot – for the most part – do it, doesn’t mean it cannot be done.

    Generally the medical profession work competently. If you have concerns, at your own cost you can obtain a second opinion. Complaints about doctors are investigated and acted on. Can these lessons be transferred into familycaught$ operations? Yes.

    I agree that the existing judges are the problem. In essence, I blame the Government, as their employer, for total dereliction of duty, in refusing to supervise the quality of their work. The manner of their payment offers no incentive to work competently, in fact the incentives are to turn out faulty work and to featherbed by working too slowly at that. Also, the training of familycaught$ judges is irrelevant and even destructive, for the duties that they are given. Even so, if there were constructive incentives and an openly competitive environment of payment based on quality of service, even incompetently trained workers would gain skills over a 30 year period. To go backwards over 30 years is truly astonishing “professional” performance, criminally bad I would say.

    Even though the primary fault lies with Government for failing to set constructive incentives and supervision, anyone who has corrupted themself working as a familycaught$ judge, has shown themself not ethically satisfactory for such a position in the future.

    Where social science has come a long way forward in the last 50 years, how has the familycaught$ managed to stay so self servingly unproductive and relationship-destructive for the last 30 years? Because it could get away with it and although the Government asked it to respect the cost to Government, there was no indication until recently that the Government would use the stick. Now they are turkeys waiting for christmas and I am looking forward to hearing their throat-cut cries at their end.

    You pointed out the difficulty of obtaining family friendly hours, especially for part time work. This is unfortunately a big problem in the present job market. Many men and women do find this very tough.

    Mainly, I want men to look at fairly at their parenting skills and appreciate where they are good. Where they are not so good, then put in some effort and get better, you will enjoy it a lot more if it seems easier. Don’t be embarrassed if women claim to be superior, be careful to judge honestly and fairly and get it right. We should all be judged by the same competent and fair standard. When we are weak, we must compromise more to work supportively with the other parent, to not disadvantage our children.

    Thanks for your positive suggestions.

    Skeptic, although I haven’t so actively discussed no-fault divorce, I do agree this is a related and important issue. I didn’t answer quickly, as I considered that it was already answered.

  54. Skeptic says:

    Murray,
    You still haven’t said whether or not you intend to be involved in setting up and / or running parenting courses like you describe in this thread. In the interests of full disclosure for trust building I think it’s important to disclose such information. People should know what your agenda is in driving this discussion.

    It strikes me as bizarre anyone can hold onto the expectation that allowing unilateral divorce to continue can somehow be ameliorated by negotiating between partners pre-marriage and parenting courses before or during the marriage.
    I reckon I could negotiate with a woman in NZ a pre-nuptual agreement as to what would happen post divorce, have it written down on paper and witnessed by a lawyer, then come divorce time it wouldn’t be worth shit in the femily caught$.
    Nor would it be in any way a disincentive for my partner to unilaterally divorce me on a whim. Hearing from other guys who’ve had such pre-nuptual agreements which have been treated as inconsequential by the femily caught$ has confirmed this her at this very website.

    So I think your efforts are well meaning but can’t see them bearing fruit by reducing divorce which is currently at historical high levels.
    Sensibly there is talk here of much needed accountability, and that’s where I return to the issue of unilateral divorce and I think AT FAULT divorce comes into the picture.
    Sorry I didn’t explain that before.
    I think if either a husband or wife that have any children together tries to initiate divorce they should be required to have solid PROVEN beyond reasonable doubt as in corroborated reasons for doing so.
    If they don’t have good corroborated reasons for divorce, they may still divorce if they insist upon it, but they automatically lose the kid/s to the committed spouse for being frivolous about the kid’s welfare.
    I understand some forms of Sharia law operate that way and divorce in such cultures is rare compared to the epidemic in NZ.
    Apparently disincentives to divorce create less of it, and consequently more stable marriage.
    It’s not rocket science. Punish a behavior enough and it tends to diminish somewhat.
    That’s why we have fines and prison for drink drivers – accountability, consequences.

    Now as to parenting courses –
    Of course if husband or wife, or both want to VOLUNTARILY go to a parenting program to improve their parenting skills that’s fine and an admirable sign of their love and devotion to their family.
    But to insist that all parents attend parenting skills programs would be utterly draconian.
    Also to turn a loving relationship between spouses into a competition about who’s got the most parenting skills certification in case the sledgehammer of unilateral divorce comes down is a ludicrous recipe for lack of trust in a relationship and a disaster.

  55. Been There, Done That says:

    MurrayB, I don’t suggest that parents shouldn’t try to improve their skills; Iof course they should. Parenting is a learned skill, which most people model off their own experiences, i.e. their own parents.
    However is it equally not a skill set that that can be certified prior to parenthood. It is on the job learning which even the best parents in the world would agree is something they never perfected. ‘if I only knew then, what I know now’ springs to mind.
    What would be more worrying would be the feminist politically correct social re-engineering that would inevitably follow. Trust me it would. All previous examples I have cited are the types of areas you will ultimately be black-flagged on.
    UNTIL the pandemic social disease ‘feminism’ is put to rest, seperation, parenting, family court etc issues will not resolve themselves. Part of that is finding the right balance between equality (which i have no problem with) and not simply enabling female power and control (which is just as bad as the alleged historic patriarchal misogynistic power and control, which the femmies complain about).

    Also to turn a loving relationship between spouses into a competition about who’s got the most parenting skills certification in case the sledgehammer of unilateral divorce comes down is a ludicrous recipe for lack of trust in a relationship and a disaster.

    Skeptic: i agree wholeheartedly.
    We could all go live in commie Korea in the meantime …

  56. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Skeptic and Been There, Done That,

    at present, if I am am trying to help someone deal with familycaught$, when relevant, I suggest ways that they can look to improve their parenting skills. I might offer to discuss issues myself (myself and one or two others also helping), but the main focus is on identifying environments where they can gain experience and advice. (I don’t charge for offering help.) In many cases, the familycaught$ process is denying them experience with children (of course their own children). The familycaught$ does much damage to parent’s parenting skills, in the name of “protecting children”. Most parents find it difficult to obtain experience with children, when they are denied access to their own children. What access is allowed, is often degraded, in terms of providing the normal gaining of parenting experience.

    In centuries gone by, families were usually larger and most children gained a lot more experience taking care of a wide range of younger children. There was also more caring for neighbour’s children too. Now, with smaller family sizes and unfortunately more nuclear families, most children gain less experience, before they have their own children.

    In my opinion, this deficit is probably best made up through schools, with children spending a part of their time with children a year or two younger than themselves, perhaps helping with sports, tutoring class materials…. More difficult to arrange, but in similar vein, to give experience with caring for much younger children, maybe arrangements could be made through daycares, for well managed access to toddlers and babies.

    As well as direct experience, this also allows children to see in perspective, their own skills, without necessarily having formal assessment. I would envisage some formal assessment, when children are older than 13 years. This is not something children have to pass, just scores. If children were doing poorly, they could be offered additional time and experience, if they wished to do this, but no pressure. This should lead to children having a realistic evaluation of themself, without learning by bearing and losing!

    I haven’t suggested putting any Government pressure onto prospective marriage partners or married couples to attend parenting courses. I have suggested to inform them and what they do after that is their own choice and by negotiation between them.

    Skeptic, thanks for the example of divorce incentives under Sharia law. My suggestion is not quite to that extent, but along those lines. I also accept your point that prenuptial agreements are worthless, in a worthless familycaught$. I agree. If your husband or wife of 10 years suddenly starts doing parenting courses, then maybe there is some information being shared?

    If we expect a working Family Court, then we must give workers an incentive to work honestly and competently. The public must be able to see what goes on and form well informed opinions about the quality and also to choose who they wish to pay to serve them. The thieves and ratbags, when they have to pay to sort out problems caused by their wrongful decisions, won’t have any wages left after the damages have been sorted out. Even if they wanted further work, nobody would give it to them anyway…

    The present familycaught$ may pit parents against each other by offering a reduced set of options, to serve their own paramount financial interest.

    In the real world, when good faith negotiation is enforced, then parent’s incentives largely allign, there isn’t much conflict of interest at all. If the Family Court was honest and constructive, it would help in this regard. As the public gain confidence in Family Court, relatively few cases would ever reach Family Court, as parents would sort out their own issues.

    I am not completely against divorce. I believe that we should try to minimise need for it, by better supporting young people, before and during the stresses of marriage and parenting.

    Maybe it is wrong to take 3 days for marriage licence and 2 years to escape. Maybe a year for both? Someone who divorces casually only has the incentive that their history goes with them. This is what they offer future prospective partners. Isn’t this incentive enough?

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  57. Skeptic says:

    Protecting children by not separating in the first place.

  58. Skeptic says:

    It’s not just fathers being separated from children, but men in general.
    Check out Angry Harry from 5.05″

  59. Skeptic says:

    Follow up to post #59 – Part 2 & Part 3

  60. MurrayBacon says:

    #7 realkiwi

    the point is not at the marriage licence/agreement, it is at the birth certificate.

    In making the post, I started with the limited assumption of marriage before children. This was to see if improvements could be made, for the more straightforward case of marriage before children. This does cover more than 50% of births, so is a not unreasonable place to start. (If some progress could be made, then later the more complex cases of children first might be considered….)

    I am trying to address potential problems at the earliest available opportunity. If marriage precedes birth, then marriage license precedes birth certificate. One a child is born, people have lost most of their freedom to choose, they are already locked in with the other parent.

    Drawing people’s attention to the other partner’s skills and resources reminds them to consider prospects in marriage and also prospects if marriage were to break up. If people knew that on separation, their options for parenting plans would be restricted by their limited skills, then that gives them an incentive to:

    1. realise that if they separate they are at higher risk to have their children removed ie under more pressure to not separate.

    2. if they don’t like that, improve their skills, so that they could have better options if they later chose to separate ie not restricted to just 50%/50% care

    3. look for a better skilled partner, so if they did ever want to separate, they could do so in a less restricted manner ie with a wider range of parenting plans ok 30%/70% either way

    Certainly realkiwi’s point is that where people just “have a child”, then any paperwork at marriage license has no relevance for them.

    Accepting her/his challenge, then I suggest that registering a birth, if the marriage license doesn’t exist, they would have to go through the same evaluation. They would have disadvantaged themselves in that they have a lesser range of choices than at marriage license ie before marriage, where the parties have the freedom to walk away.

    All of my suggestions are aimed at giving people the best information available, about thelself and about their prospective partner. This is to allow them to make a realistic commitment, based on reliable information.

    In other words, informed consent.

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