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Shared Care Research

Filed under: General — nzleagle @ 10:42 pm Sat 20th December 2014

Hi there,

Just under 2 weeks ago I seperated with my Wife, we have two school aged children, and I will be moving to an area where I will Pass by the school on the way to work.

I have proposed working towards a 4/5 shared care arrangement, where as she is proposing Alternate Weekends plus 1 Week day a fortnight. Obviously I don’t feel its fair that I am limited to such a short amount of time with my Kids, when I will be passing by where they go to school every day anyway.

Looking for some websites, Data on the pro’s and cons of Shared Care as I have heard that in situations where it is viable, the Family Court is moving towards Shared Care as the ideal situation. If i can present a Case to my ex showing that its not detrimental to Children to be in a Shared care situation, I may have a better chance of having her agree….


  1. Hi, your children’s mother is proposing a plan that has in the past been the standard response from Judges keen to be seen as giving dads a chance to father. However, do not make a mistake by believing that under this arrangement you will have the opportunity to impart your parenting skills successfully. You and your children have a unique relationship and should you be in a position to have them for half the time then that is what they deserve and this is what I, and many others who care about children, believe is their fundamental right.

    If you agree with my premise and conclusion then commit to it if you represent yourself and insist on it if you get counsel. Beware of web sites suggesting other options as being beneficial as this information is driven by a ubiquitous and pernicious doctrine that would have us fathers compromise our childrens future.

    Regardless of what you ‘hear’, should the childrens mother’s’ interests be mainly her own, you are in for the fight of your life. Juxtapose if you will,what you would expect if you took the Head Hunters gang to court for not re-paying a debt to you? The only shocking difference in your case will be that the system will also be against you. Good luck my friend, you are going to need it.

    If you

    Comment by triassic — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 4:32 am

  2. Shared Care is a legal illusion, to suck you into a battle.

    You don’t have to prove anything to anyone at this stage. Don’t start this by convincing yourself you have to prove something.

    What this situation tells you is firstly, that ex has seen a lawyer, and secondly that she is either a nutter, a bitch, or both.

    This is a slightly different formula to the original case law designed to shaft the bloke, which was one weekend a fortnight and one week of the school holidays.

    Is your ex going on the DPB?
    Has there been any offer of weeks access during the school holidays?

    The situation I mentioned above was designed to ensure anyone accepting the proposal would not meet the old child support formula.

    If she is not going on the DPB and since child support legislation is changing then, I expect you are going to be screwed for child support, this sounds to me like a new formula to meet a child support threshold.

    (Alan Harvey – UOF – might have a comment on any new thresholds for child support under the changing legislation)

    Do you earn significantly more than your ex, and will she struggle on one income. This also can be a driver in situations like this, using the children to force a child support settlement.

    Is your ex gullible, easily sucked in by a lawyer – who is her lawyer?

    We have a long list of well known legal Meanderthals who expect to drag cases out as long as possible, for their own financial advantage.

    Given this is the starting point you’ve been offered I suggest you represent yourself or her lawyer will also work to run you out of money to win something close to the starting point.

    If it’s equally your ex wife that is driving this and she is bitter and twisted about the separation and is trying to punish you for leaving, then I suggest you read up on parental alienation, before worrying too much about shared care.

    How old are the children?

    This will manifest in different ways depending on their age.

    Most important:

    First: Watch out for creating a status quo, meaning don’t start off trying to be nice and doing what they expect, and get sucked into a long court battle trying to change that Status Quo. This legally is quasi custody and getting a change is something along the lines of changing a custody order (nowadays a parenting order).

    Second: Don’t accept a temporary arrangement to get access. To have access and (they won’t tell you this) means legal custody exists for the mother, even if there is no written agreement.

    Third: work out a 50/50 proposal, of what you intend to do for your half of the child care duties. This doesn’t mean half of everything – it means doing what you can do and what you consider to be half of the child raising responsibilities.

    You base this on the children’s needs and what you can reasonably do, and what she should reasonably do.

    From what you’ve said it sounds like you’ve got this done already and being close to the school will make life easier for you. You may want to reconsider what you are currently planning based on the above and whether you are being fair to yourself.

    Do this immediately. If there is no immediate short negotiation then apply for custody.

    Don’t stop doing what you ordinarily do with your children. Expect to continue any parenting you are doing in the meantime. If your ex is scheming and hatching a plan against you can expect to obstructed – that’s not your problem, it’s hers.

    Only a piece of legal-shit from the Family Court or a unfit mother would start negotiations about your children’s welfare from a point of minimal involvement to badger their father into submission for their own advantage, or screw him for child support.

    To be blunt. This is just your standard bullshit from the New Zealand legal system – you’re not being singled out or subjected to anything usual compared to other men.

    Be suspicious and don’t expect them to play fair.

    Someone doesn’t kick you in the nuts to start a fight and expect to lose, and that’s exactly how this is started off.

    Don’t expect this to be pleasant. Get it sorted or it will wear you down, affect your work performance, and your relationship with your children.

    Lastly, if you instigated the separation, your ex may carry this on for her own morbid satisfaction – that’s just the way some women are.

    Hope this helps and good luck with being a separated parent.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 6:54 am

  3. I should probably mention that I have been down this road before, well, Currently still going down this road 7 years later with my oldest son. So I know how cruel the system can be.

    The Separation has been a while coming, she states my “failure to help more around the house” as the primary reason for separating… Where as I was on the verge of leaving myself due to the inappropriate influence and manipulation from her parents (Treating us like we a Kids when we are nearly 30….., buying things to “help” us out, then using it against us when we do something they dont approve of)

    We had pretty much agreed on a 4 Days with me, 5 days with Her arrangement, however I made the mistake of letting her think about it over night before she signed an agreement. It was after speaking with her Mother and Step Father that she came up with the Alternate Weekends and 1 school Night, and expects me to accept it because “Her Step Father would be happy with this, and he has been though court in the past”

    I fully know about the creation of “status Quoe, it was used against me with the case of my older son, From the age of 3 months – till separation at 18 months, I was the primary caregiver, either working nights or studying from home, while my ex worked during the day. By the time we actually had a Lawyer for child appointed, and a mediation, it was almost 2 years down the track, and the new Status quoe had been established, and the 15 months I was the primary caregiver meant nothing even though it was most of his life at the time…..

    The Question of the effect of the 4/5 arrangement did come up when discussing it, but I even said Ill still pay the full amount of child support for the first 12 months so that it doesn’t effect your student allowance or anything, then next year you will be working….

    I was tempted to agree to what has been offered just to stop the conflict, but the reasearch I did last night has made me even more determined to stick to a 50/50 agreement, I have even tried looking for the negatives of shared care, and the only time there are any negatives mentioned in reasearch is in abusive situations. And probably most importantly, yes agreeing now may reduced conflict now. But It was also found that Inter-parental conflict actually decreases over time in a shared custody arangement, where in a sole custody arangement it increases and as a result, interparental co-operation increases in shared custody, but decreases in sole custody.

    If anyone else is looking for research links on shared care,

    Child Custody, Access And Parental Responsibility – Edward Kruk W.S.W, PHD, The Universtity of British Columbia 2008

    The Importance of Shared Care – The Custody Minefield 2010

    Amazingly the Ministry of Social Development has a decent article on it……

    Anyway, off to the Camp that Julie posted up earlier with the two Children…..

    Comment by nzleagle — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 7:46 am

  4. @nzleagle – Ministry of Social Development article, is that the bottom link you have above?

    Another thing to watch out for, is what weekend you start an agreement on. Lawyers always work this out so the weekends fall on Mother’s Day and not Father’s Day.

    Then you are left to continually negotiate for that weekend or like a lot of fathers, just forget Father’s Day exists and put up with not having your kids around that day, if your ex wants to be a bitch and not swap weekends.

    What I have suggested to some people in the past also is building in three weekend blocks for each parent. This gives both parents a break from the kids, and a chance to plan something for themselves.

    This can also be a way to resolve the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day issue.

    Another way to look at this if you are not getting co-operation is just let these things slide and tick up a week for each year they continue to make life difficult for you and expect you to put up with their crap.

    Then when the children are old enough, your pack you bags and go overseas for a holiday.

    Was she a bitch – I went away for 12 weeks.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 8:36 am

  5. @nzleagle #3 (Ministry of Social Development Article)

    If this is the one you are referring to:

    … it is not what I call a good article or would want men who come to this site for help to be referred to.

    It’s full of feminist ideological crap backed up by the usual dodgy US research which is undertaken to provide the desired conclusions.

    Nevertheless, there are conditions under which this approach is unlikely to be in children’s best interests. For example, if fathers have a history of antisocial behaviour, substance abuse or violence, then access should be limited. (Rather than eliminate access, however, a better procedure is to allow visitation to occur in safe places established by the court.)

    The same principle is not applied to custody (mother) as it is to access (father).
    All this supports is supervised access regardless of the mother’s behaviour.

    Although several mechanisms are responsible for the link between divorce and children’s problems, the most important factor is a deterioration in the quality of parent-child relationships. Following divorce, many single custodial mothers experience stress that interferes with the quality of parenting.

    This supports the feminist ideology that only the mother’s stress is important and only her parenting is important – “the most important factor”.

    Economic hardship means that many custodial parents (usually mothers) do not have the resources to purchase books, computers and other commodities that facilitate children’s school success.

    In addition, many custodial mothers are forced to move to less expensive accommodation following divorce – a change that is distressing to many children.

    This is justification for men having the financial shit kicked out of them to support the mother in the manner to which she is accustomed, and to be in control of the purchasing power for the development of the children.

    Marital dissolution creates a number of challenges for parents. Custodial parents (usually mothers) must cope with the emotional aftermath of divorce, the difficulties of parenting without a partner in the household, and the stress of trying to make ends meet with limited financial resources.

    Only one parent exists in that statement and it sure as hell ain’t the father.

    Nevertheless, some research indicates that many highly involved fathers gradually disengage from their children following divorce, mainly because they (and their children) find that access arrangements provide insufficient time to maintain close ties. Hetherington and Kelly (2002) refer to these men as divorce de-activated fathers.

    “Mainly because of insufficient time”.

    You might read that as a bit of ammunition for more time, but look at what it really says.

    These ‘divorce deactivated fathers’ come about simply on the basis of time, nothing to do with court conflict, parental alienation, stress, financial restraints due to child support, court battles, access, or simply being worn down through the circumstance.

    You don’t see the same ideology being applied to mothers above.

    This is not an article on shared parenting.

    It patently supports feminist ideology, inequality, and the legal bullshit that we have in New Zealand, female bias and mother custody, mother can do no wrong, everything must be done for the mother, father access, father to blame, father not important.

    Father’s can be retrained to accept feminist ideology.

    Children are the victims of male non-compliance and post separation trauma caused by fathers.

    I’d be surprised if MOMA hadn’t already written to MSD and complained about the article.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 9:57 am

  6. The separation is in very early days at the moment, any legal dramas are a long way off. However you should be careful, I suggest the following based on my experience [many years ago].
    1-Do not in any way alienate your children against their mother.
    2-make sure that the school knows about the separation hopefully the school will remain neutral as they should.
    3-Do not involve CYF.
    4-If you have a new partner keep her or him!!!!! out of the children’s lives for now.
    5-Always play your part in the school life of the kids there is nothing wrong with your calling into school.
    6-Keep calm and don’t let your anger [if any] show in front of the children.
    7-Financially be very prudent.
    8-Sometime in the future you will have to make arrangements re matrimonial property but that can wait.
    9-Close any joint bank accounts.
    10-Be careful about lawyers, they will fleece you given half a chance.
    11-Lawyers can and should be avoided, both of you are adults and both of you can and should be able to avoid lawyers. I did not engage a lawyer in my case this cost me an extra $500 which went to the ex-wife but I saved myself at least $5000 in legal bills. Even if you or your ex-wife get legal aid you will have to pay in the end. Legal aid is now treated as a recoverable debt.
    12-look after yourself emotionally.

    Best of luck and keep us in touch there are many who are here to offer advice, the trouble is you are going to have to do the work.

    Comment by Andrew McCarthy — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  7. Good advice from Andrew.
    Best to stay away from public posts here.
    I am happy to comment on specifics via [email protected]

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Sun 21st December 2014 @ 10:47 pm

  8. @Allan Harvey

    What is/are the new threshold/s for child support in terms of the number of nights?

    Have you noticed any consistent pattern turning up around these?

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 22nd December 2014 @ 7:42 am

  9. The new Child Support definition of shared care is 28-72% of nights. That is between 2 nights per week and up to 5 nights a week, costs are shared by both parents and these costs are based on the age of the child (to consider level of expense in raising child) and the income level of both parents (but not any partners involved).
    Every second weekend and half the holidays parents (82 nights) miss the new threshold of 104 nights. They remain in IRD’s eyes 0% care and 100% cash parents.
    The old s13(ii) for “substantially other care” remains but I expect it’s interpretation to be tightened.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 22nd December 2014 @ 8:37 am

  10. There is a lot of Australian research. Often under “shared parenting” or “shared custody”.

    Our family have done 50/50 – week about – for several years, with specific agreements about important days like Christmas Day. (Christmas eve / morning alternates year to year.) It has worked fairly well. The oldest child began to negotiate staying more with his dad once he was a teenager and now at 17 is almost full time with his dad.

    Comment by exactchange — Mon 22nd December 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  11. This is one of the grittiest and yet also clear postings I have ever seen! Thanks to all contributors, for all of the viewpoints.

    Where both parents have quite good mental health, shared parenting is little or no drama – in fact it usually suits both parents by giving the adults the best flexibility to develop their own lives as well.

    So, the challenge lies in the cases where one parent wants to “own the children”, or just to be seen owning the children.

    Ignoring what legal workers say is their interpretation of the best interests of the child(ren) and looking more to their behaviour under cover of protective secrecy, it is much influenced by the money visible on either side of the equation and the potential to pit the parents against each other. (This setting of parent onto parent is so obviously against the legislation and against the well-being and proper development of the children, but they get away with it when parents respect the protective secrecy.) This comment is a warning to women, just as much as it is to men……

    It is strange that shared parenting gives the children’s welfare the next best thing, to having daily access to both parents, yet? Child neglect is the opposite of having daily access with both parents. (Obviously there are a very small number of exceptions, where one parent is not suitable to care for the children the majority of the time. This situation is often expanded to suit the convenience or desires of one parent, more than the actual welfare of the children.)

    Said the other way, the parent that refuses shared parenting is generally the parent that hazards the children’s welfare and wellbeing, were they to get the majority care that they seek.

    So, how to discuss children’s welfare and wellbeing, in a room motivated by lazy greed for other people’s assets? Close to impossible, there are none so blind, as will not see.

    Just to be able to speak knowledgeably and correctly about child development or neglect is no use, if the judge cannot or will not hear.

    I suggest that the critical ingredient to be heard in familycaught$, is to make clear in your application that you are well placed to win at appeal. This means being right first time in every aspect caught$. It also means using over qualified expert witnesses.

    Being heard in familycaught$ also requires a proven history of speaking fearlessly, sensibly and passionately in public ie not kowtowing to protective secrecy.

    MurrayBacon – just another axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 23rd December 2014 @ 12:20 pm

  12. If you are interested, I can provide background research. You already are well enough set up. If you are interested in more info, please feel free to give me a call.

    The critical issue is being heard in familycaught$, not good or poor quality research.

    Best wishes, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 23rd December 2014 @ 1:37 pm

  13. Having been in an analogous situation, whereby I would have essentially become a weekend Dad, despite, as in your case, picking up my kids from school twice a week, I say hang in there. I did under immense pressure and got shared care (3/4 day split)after refusing to budge. And document every single thing that has been said or otherwise. It makes a huge difference if you need to head to the family court for full custody as I have had to in the end due to the mother’s mental illness.
    I have to disagree about lawyers, as long as you have the right one (by personal recommendation only) they are worth every cent in the long run.
    Good luck!

    Comment by chewie — Tue 23rd December 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  14. Who are the lawyers.
    One off the comments mentions lawyers who want to fleece you, another mentions a list of lawyers who act in this way.

    Let’s publish the list

    Comment by Paul — Sun 12th April 2015 @ 10:06 am

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