MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Shared Parenting – Evaluated honestly

Filed under: Gender Politics,Law & Courts — MurrayBacon @ 8:42 am Sat 17th May 2014

A Short Treatise on Woozles and Woozling

National Parents Organization

May 14, 2014 by Robert Franklin.

The excitement in the family law world occasioned by two papers – one by Dr. Richard Warshak that was endorsed by 110 eminent social scientists around the world and one by Dr. Linda Nielsen – has died down a bit with no blood actually having been shed. Whew, that was a close call. Warshak, et al and Nielsen thoroughly skewered work done by Dr. Jennifer McIntosh and colleagues that was widely used by various Australian organizations involved in parenting post-divorce to marginalize fathers, particularly regarding children under the age of three. McIntosh’s work was cited time and again for the proposition that fathers having their very young children overnight was a bad idea. Australian courts embraced the notion as did custody evaluators, lawyers and the like.

About that, Warshak, et al said this:

Advocates are promoting a report issued by an Australian government agency (McIntosh, Smyth, & Kelaher, 2010) as a basis for decisions regarding parenting plans for children of preschool age and younger. Accounts of the report appearing in the media, in professional seminars, in legislative briefs, and in court directly contradict the actual data, overlook results that support opposite conclusions, and mislead their audience.

A “background paper” describing the Australian report, posted on the Internet (McIntosh & the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, 2011), illustrates all three characteristics.

In short, according to 111 prominent scientists, both McIntosh and fellow authors, and advocates that use their work to marginalize fathers in the lives of their children, make claims that “contradict the actual data, overlook results that support opposite conclusions, and mislead their audience.”

If you’re a researcher in the field of children and their well-being under various parenting arrangements, as McIntosh is, that’s a blow to your reputation that could conceivably be fatal. Face it, when 111 scientists around the world combine to condemn your work and attempt to set straight the scientific record on overnights for kids, Houston, you have a problem.

But that wasn’t all. Certain Australian organizations began publicly proclaiming their intention to stop using McIntosh’s work as a guide to their decisions about parenting and to heed the extensive literature review by Warshak, et al. People and organizations have begun to run away from McIntosh and her views on the subject of parenting plans for very young children. Academic researchers rely on grants to do their work. A bad reputation, particularly a biased bad reputation is not the stuff of funding for future research.

Not only that, but, shortly before Warshak, et al published their review of the science, Dr. Linda Nielsen published her own take on McIntosh’s work. It wasn’t flattering. Entitled “Woozles: Their Role in Custody Law Reform, Parenting Plans and Family Court,” it was nominally a cautionary tale about the uses and misuses of social science, but its main targets were McIntosh and her colleagues and the uses of their work to further marginalize fathers in children’s lives.


That brought Nielsen to the science on overnights for children of separated parents. Should very young children, i.e. those under five, spend some nights with each parent or every night with one? If “some with each” is the correct answer, then how much with each? Some 31 studies have delved into the issue of shared versus sole or primary parenting when children have some overnight visits with Dad. Of those, eight have dealt with children under six, among them one by McIntosh, Smyth, Kelaher and Wells published in 2010.

As Nielsen makes clear, the first six of those studies offer essentially nothing to back up the claim – the woozle – that even very young children should not spend overnights with their fathers. Indeed, children whose parents had previously been married and who frequently spent overnights with their fathers did better than those who didn’t. There were “no differences in social or behavior adjustment”¦ and frequent overnighters had better relationships with their fathers and were better adjusted emotionally.”

Three other studies examined the children of parents who may not have ever been married. As such, some of the children had not been able to form secure attachments to their fathers and so, their responses to spending overnights away from Mom could be seen as more problematical. But, “overall the frequent overnighters had marginally better outcomes, even after accounting for parents’ levels of violence, conflict, and education. More important, violence between the parents had no worse impact on the frequent overnighters than on the other children.”

That leaves two studies, McIntosh, et al previously mentioned and another by Tornello, Emery, et al. The Tornello study was astonishingly flawed in at least two respects. First, it relied exclusively on data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing data that have been gathered by McLanahan and her colleagues since 1998. The people making up McLanahan’s cohort are utterly unrepresentative of the population of Americans and certainly not of Australians. Nielsen describes the cohort thus:

So whatever else may be said about the Tornello study, it’s clear that extrapolating it to the population at large is intellectually impossible.


Even so, their findings revealed no reason why children should not spend overnights with their fathers.

Consistent with the seven studies already described, there were virtually no differences between the overnighters and nonovernighters. On 14 regression analyses for the seven measures of well-being, only one statistically significant difference emerged: The children who frequently overnighted at age 3 years displayed more positive behavior at age 5 years than the rare or no overnights groups.

That brings us to McIntosh, et al, about whose work I’ll say more next time.

Have You Woozled a Judge?

North Carolina Bar Association

Article Date: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 Written By: Judge Laurie Hutchins

How often do you wonder “what was that judge thinking?” after she rules on your custody case? In this article I will tell you a secret: what every district court judge learned at our Fall 2013 Conference on shared custody and what the judge might be thinking at your next hearing.

We heard from Dr. Linda Neilsen, Ed.D., a professor of Adolescent and Educational Psychology at Wake Forest University, on the topic of shared residential custody, defined as 35% to 50% of the time with both parents. She is an expert on the topics of divorced father-daughter relationships and shared parenting after divorce. She has written four books on the father-daughter relationship and been featured on PBS and NPR. She has written numerous journal articles and a college textbook on adolescent psychology.

Her goal at our conference was to debunk myths about shared parenting. She did this by giving us a true/false quiz to show us we had been “woozled.” You may remember the Woozle in Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. Pooh and Piglet follow tracks in the snow believing they are tracks left by the Woozle. Christopher Robin solves the mystery and discovers poor Pooh and Piglet are following their own tracks. The woozle effect, also known as evidence by citation, occurs when frequent citation of previous publications that lack evidence misleads readers into thinking there is evidence.


Dr. Nielsen blew these studies to smithereens during her presentation! There are now 33 studies on shared parenting. It took her five years to review all of them.

She enthusiastically concluded shared parenting is the better custodial plan. She found in her review of all the studies that children benefit from maximizing non-residential father time to include more overnights even if there is high conflict between the parents. She found children want more time with their father and the effect is better adjusted kids.

She gave us the following “rules”:

Parents do not have to be good buddies to share custody.

It can be successful by court order [not agreed to by the parties].

Conflict usually declines over a 1 to 2 year time period. And most importantly, it will decrease more quickly in a shared parenting plan than standard weekend plan.

Shared parenting does not have to be co-parenting. It can be parallel parenting [if conflict then okay with little communication].

Highest level of conflict is the swap. Therefore, limit transition as much as possible. Exchange at school is okay.

High conflict is offset by the high relationship with both parents.

Shared parenting had better results for kids for drinking and drug problems.

Shared parent kids had better relationships with their fathers later in life than those with a standard weekend visitation. They could talk to their father about things that bother them during the shared custody.

There is no negative outcome for babies to have overnights with father.

Studies showed kids like the shared parenting plans; “two homes is no home” is a myth.

In conclusion, out of 33 studies, 31 showed equal or better results for kids with shared parenting. Only two studies showed mixed results.


For a fascinating read I refer you to her article “Shared Residential Custody: Review of the Research [Part I of II]” in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage [2012] and to her website, [email protected].


Jennifer McIntosh visited NZ around 2012 and gave continuing education for psychologists who write s133 reports for familycaught. Now that her work has been put into a more realistic perspective, I wonder if a large number of s133 reports should be withdrawn and rewritten? Then this would lead on to having to rehear thousands of custody hearings.

I guess because of the cost, this being more important than integrity, this will never happen?


  1. Studies & Stats are largely bullshit and are mostly organised by those with an agenda they wish to try and justify. Therefore they purposely write the survey and questions to get the desired outcome. Take the ‘’ and political polls for example. The first and most important questions to ask is who is conducting the survey? Who is Paying for th survey? and What is their motivations and it is almost always self interest. A large proportion of the people write surveys for a living so it is in their best interests to keep the people paying for them happy. Therefore they will almost always follow the desires of those paying them.

    Integrity is almost impossible to find in my experience.

    No study needed. 50/50 shared care as a default law is in the best interests of the children.
    Anything other than 50/50 shared care by willing parents is the worst kind of CHILD ABUSE.
    Only an idiot or someone who has an ulterior motive would think that anything other than that.
    yes, of course there are exceptions – the main one being a real criminal conviction by 10/12 of a jury of your peers for harming the children plus your children do not wish to live with you.

    The mothers and Lawyer/Judge scum who rule other than this are CHILD ABUSERS and paedophiles and the cops need to prosecute them or they do not deserve to be paid by the public as they are not protecting and serving our loving Dads and vulnerable children.

    Comment by Phil Watts — Sat 17th May 2014 @ 10:11 am

  2. Excellent work expanding on the separate work of Warshak and Nielsen. You and Allan Harvey previously informed us here about Warshak’s great analysis and scientific support for it, but MoMA didn’t realize how significant that was. This is huge, though unfortunately the feminist bandwagon often seems to keep on rolling despite anything scientific or reasonable.

    The methodology of McIntosh’s work has previously been criticized here on MENZ Issues. Clearly, we have people here with research knowledge and Dr Warshak could have added more names to the 110 scientists.

    McIntosh has been conducting bad research for decades, designed as a weapon in her misandry. We can’t blame her and other feminist researchers really, when even the UN World Health Organisation conducts equally flawed and misandrist research (see a critique of the WHO research here on MENZ Issues).

    Nevertheless, it’s possible that the work of Warshak, Nielsen and others has contributed to some muting of the feminist backlash to the small Family Court reforms under Judith Collins, including removing the Bristol clauses. We could all do well to respond quickly, citing Warshak and Nielsen, to the further inevitable ‘the sky will fall in’ challenges by feminists as they try to get the Bristol clauses back in.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sat 17th May 2014 @ 10:43 am

    The Foundation of a Woozle

    National Parents Organisation

    May 16, 2014 by Robert Franklin

    Of the eight studies done to date on the effects of overnight care by non-resident parents on very young children, seven of them show either no adverse effects or that overnights are associated with improved outcomes. That leaves the 2010 study by McIntosh, Smyth, Kelaher and Wells. To say that it’s a seriously flawed piece of work is to put it mildly. That it’s become the touchstone for the anti-dad crowd to continue their efforts to marginalize fathers in the lives of their children comes as no surprise first because the study can easily be read to do just that and second because the anti-dad crowd’s never much cared for intellectual scruples.

    The study, that many call the ‘pre-schooler study,’ was conducted for the office of the Australian Attorney General, and was based on data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Now, the LSAC has a good bit of heft to it, comprised as it is of data gathered from some 10,000 children. But McIntosh, et al didn’t use all those kids or all that data. Indeed, constructing their study as they did, some samples they used had as few as 14 children in them. Most tellingly, ‘the negative data on which the woozle (that children experience problems with attachment to a parent if they have too many overnights with the other parent) is based came from some of the smallest samples in the study.’

    And, speaking of the study’s samples, they turn out to bear no relationship to the general population. As Dr. Linda Nielsen points out, ‘Most of these parents had never been married to one another (90% for infants and 60% for toddlers) and 30% of the infants’ parents had never even lived together. This means the findings should not be generalized to the general population of divorced parents.’ So, in addition to everything else, the findings of the McIntosh study, even if they had validity, turn out to be useless in any but the narrowest of situations. They can’t be applied parents generally or to divorced parents or to those who’ve lived together for long.

    Worse, despite the large population of children in the LSAC, McIntosh, et al simply failed to compare certain groups. For example, as Nielsen points out, ‘this study never compared the children who never overnighted to the children who only occasionally overnighted. That is, the study never addressed the question: Is occasional overnighting better or worse than never overnighting?’ For that proposition, the study is entirely worthless, and it gets close to that status for others.


    Still worse, McIntosh, et al decided to define ‘shared care’ completely differently than do the rest of social scientists who study this issue. For most such scientists, ‘shared care’ means a minimum of 35% to 40% parenting time for each parent. But inexplicably, for McIntosh and her fellow researchers, it meant as little as five nights per month with the non-resident parent, or about 16.5% of parenting time. Why they changed the definition so many social scientists work with as a matter of course remains a mystery.

    Worst of all, the authors used six measures to determine whether a child was being adversely affected by overnights with dad, and four of them have never been validated as actually reflecting adverse consequences. Really, that’s what they did. So McIntosh, et al looked at ‘irritability, persistence (at a particular task), wheezing, and wariness/watchfulness about the mother’s where-abouts’ to measure whether or not a child was stressed by overnighting with its father. The problem is that, no one else had ever used those to measure what McIntosh, et al sought to measure. They’d been validated for other purposes, but not for that. The researchers simply made them up for the purpose of evaluating the stress, or lack thereof, on children of overnights.

    That alone renders the study essentially meritless. No one can say a particular type of behavior evidences stress in an infant unless the behavior has been independently shown to indicate that. But on at least one of the McIntosh group’s measures, their conclusions may in fact be the exact opposite of what they ought to be.


    So, in McIntosh’s study, children with frequent overnights exhibited greater watchful behavior and to the researchers, that indicated heightened stress even though the test had never been validated for that. What that behavior did indicate was that the children with frequent overnights were in fact more advanced in their communication skills than were the children with fewer overnights. In other words, contrary to McIntosh et al’s claims, overnights, at least on that measure were beneficial to the kids. Needless to say, the researchers didn’t mention the fact and instead claimed the opposite.


    In short, the irritability and persistence scales were not validated measures for assessing infant stress, or developmental problems, or emotional regulation difficulties.

    As Nielsen points out, irritability can result from virtually anything and lack of persistence from ADHD. But none of that prevented McIntosh, et al from claiming that heightened irritability and lower persistence were indicators of stress and that stress came from overnights with dad.

    By now it should be clear that the pre-schooler study is essentially useless as a guide to anything, much less establishing policy on parenting time following divorce or separation. As many social scientists have pointed out since its publication, it’s simply too flawed and its data too ambiguous to make it worth much in any context. But in the three plus years since its publication, it’s been anything but the doorstop it qualifies to be. Unlike its more scrupulous fellows in the field of overnights for young children, the pre-schooler study swept the world of family law and became the Bible on the subject for judges, lawyers, custody evaluators, mediators and the like. It shouldn’t have, but it did.


    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 18th May 2014 @ 10:00 am


    Her Woozle Revealed, McIntosh Responds

    National Parents Organization

    May 15, 2014 by Robert Franklin

    With Warshak’s and Nielsen’s articles and their massive backing from reputable social scientists around the world came an article in the Australian newspaper The Age by Bettina Arndt that I wrote about here. It did little but point out the obvious-that McIntosh’s work and the conclusions drawn by her and others about overnight care of very young children had little-to-no support in the literature, and that various organizations in Australia were reevaluating their positions on the matter in light of Warshak, Nielsen, et al.

    Still, that was too much for McIntosh who penned this hasty and altogether too glib reply:

    My extensive clinical and academic work in family law and early childhood development, and my research with Bruce Smyth and Margaret Kelaher, are evidence-based and consistent: our findings have never said ”never” to overnight care of young children in divorce, nor anything about children needing mothers more than fathers. Infants need consistency of care, and the ongoing, warm involvement of both parents. Our research cautions against high-frequency, shared overnight care for young infants. This is the consensus with other studies on this question. Bettina Arndt relies on the petition of US psychologist Richard Warshak to argue otherwise, even though Dr Warshak himself reports that his hand-picked signatories ”may not agree with every detail” of what they signed up to. While there are opinions to the contrary, and the circumstances of individual cases differ, there is no developmental evidence to support claims that equal or near-equal overnight care is the optimal starting point for co-parenting infants after separation. That is the science we have to date. The rights and needs of children must not be allowed to give way to gender politics.

    To say the least, that’s a weak and all-but-irrelevant reply both to Arndt’s article and the work of Warshak, et al and Nielsen. For the most part, McIntosh simply lines up straw men and knocks them down in the hopes that readers will conclude that she’s actually responding to something someone said at some time about something McIntosh said at some time. She’s not.

    So, no one – neither scientist nor journalist – has ever said McIntosh has ever “said ‘never’ to overnight care of young children” or that she’s said children need mothers more than fathers. Her faux indignation on the subject may convince people who haven’t read her work or the responses to it, but no one else. Straw-man arguments are among the weakest in the pantheon of debate tactics, and so they are here. That McIntosh uses them almost exclusively in her comment says a lot about the validity of same.

    McIntosh’s characterization of Warshak’s work is more scurrilous still. She calls it a “petition,” which is just downright weird. As a social scientist, McIntosh well knows what his paper is; it’s a thorough-going review of the existing science on parenting and overnight care of young children post-divorce or separation. To call it a “petition” is intellectual dishonesty at its most blatant.

    But to say that the 110 scientists who endorsed his review were “hand-picked” by him is even worse. In fact, he didn’t pick them, they picked themselves. As the paper says right there on page one, they received drafts of the paper, made comments and suggestions some of which were incorporated into the document and, when the whole thing was finalized, gave their good names and support to it. As such, they were, as reputable social scientists with personal integrity, free to opt into the project or opt out. Those decisions were theirs, not Warshak’s.

    And of course McIntosh is free to come up with a list of scientists who are willing to go on record opposing Warshak’s conclusions, if she can find them. To date, she hasn’t done so. Nor has she announced her intention to try.

    Her point that not all the scientists “agree with every detail” of Warshak’s analysis is of course true, and Warshak makes the point himself early on in his work. But McIntosh wants readers to believe that that fact in some way renders the paper itself questionable. It doesn’t. The 110 scientists signed on to the whole work. That means they agree with its main points and it as a whole. It means that any points of disagreement they have with it are too trivial to prevent them from lending their names and reputations to the work. Again, McIntosh knows this.

    Finally, her claim that, in some way, the work of 111 reputable social scientists around the world constitutes “gender politics,” I’d almost conclude borders on the delusional. But it doesn’t. We know this because in fact it’s carefully made to deflect readers’ attention away from who’s really been playing the gender card all these years.

    Here are some simple facts, well known to all who pay attention to issues relating to divorce and child care. In Australia and throughout the English-speaking world, the overwhelming amount of parenting time ordered by courts is given to mothers. In Great Britain and Canada, it’s about 90%. In the U.S. it’s about 83%. In Australia it was about 90% until recently, but, with the various changes to Australian family law over the last eight years, I’m frankly not sure what the numbers there are now. But whatever the precise figures, one thing is clear – when we talk about custodial parents, we’re talking about mothers in all but exceptional cases, and when we talk about non-custodial parents, we’re talking about fathers. That’s Fact Number One.

    Fact Number Two is that social scientists working in the field of parenting and divorce know Fact Number One. Just because they’re not lawyers or judges, doesn’t mean they don’t know what goes on in family courts.

    Fact Number Three is that those same social scientists – Warshak, Nielsen and McIntosh included – understand that their work has the potential to be used in those very family courts. It may affect the course of family law and parenting policies. When anyone studies and publishes his/her findings about parenting post-divorce, that person understands that their work exists partly in the context of family courts and family laws. It’s a necessary part of the process. The science they do does not remain in the ivory tower of academia. It’s meant to enlighten those who decide which parent will get custody, how much time each parent will legally spend with the child, etc. Indeed, many of the papers on overnight parenting for young children acknowledge this in so many words.

    Finally, Fact Number Four is that those same social scientists want their work to have an impact on public policies relating to parenting. It is beyond belief that a scientist would do scrupulous work on what’s best for kids but not care if that work enlightened public policy or judicial decisions regarding children. My guess is that’s one reason Warshak went to the trouble of dealing with 110 other scientists in the publication of his paper. It would have been a lot easier to simply write and publish the thing by himself. So I suspect the man wanted the paper to have a greater impact on public policies than it would have if it had appeared under just his name, so he involved others.

    In short, social scientists working in this area are well aware of the highly gendered political and legal context in which they do their research and publish their findings. Therefore, anyone who says, as McIntosh does, that “our research cautions against high-frequency, shared overnight care for young infants,” is aware of what the statement means in practice. In the overwhelming percentage of cases, it means “our research cautions against fathers having frequent overnights with their young infants.”

    Of course McIntosh would doubtless claim that her statement doesn’t necessarily mean that, and of course she’s right. In some few cases, it might mean that it’s Mom who’s holding the short end of the parenting time stick. But again, such a response is too facile by half. McIntosh and everyone else involved in the field know that it’s mothers who have the lion’s share of parenting time and so, when we ask if it’s a good thing for one parent to have overnights, the parent in question is a father, not a mother. In the real world in which this question arises, it is fathers and not mothers whose parenting time with their children is up for debate.

    Parenting time is among the most gendered phenomena in all of society. Therefore, to pretend that in some way, Warshak or Nielsen or Bettina Arndt or someone is, out of the blue, bringing gender politics into an otherwise pristine scientific and legal landscape is absurd.

    But, bad as her comment on Arndt’s article is, McIntosh’s behavior prior to that has been far worse. I’ll get to that in my next couple of pieces and I’ll do so in the context of the gender politics she’s all of a sudden so keen to condemn.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 18th May 2014 @ 10:01 am

  5. Fantastic critique!

    What are the “Bristol clauses”?

    Comment by Vman — Tue 20th May 2014 @ 2:55 pm

  6. Dear MoMa, I note your concerns about the “Bristol clauses”, however if suicide rates can be taken as an indicator of the viciousness of of familycaught$, apparently the familycaught$ started in earnest about 1975, rather than the publicly declared 1980.

    If this is true, then the paperwork issue of “Bristol clauses” doesn’t really matter at all – the familycaught$ just goes ahead and does whatever it thinks it can get away with.

    Judges acting outside of legislation is often called “judicial activism”, otherwise known as corruption. Sometimes, successful judicial activism can lead to writing of new legislation and passing by Parliament. In other cases, it can lead to extreme embarrassment of the judge.

    The Bristol clauses were fairly ambiguous and allowed (but in my opinion did not require) a judge to issue a protection order, based on just a complaint without any evidence to back it up.

    Normally public policy decisions are based on maximising expected value, which in this case would be intervening (ie DV PO) only when the value of saving lives exceeded the costs of intervening ie running a DV course and the costs to relationships by cutting off access. (The number of lives saved each year averages about 0.5 see submission below.) When applied competently, this should be true on a society wide basis and should be true in almost every single case too.

    The familycaught$ judges fail to do this, as they assume that there is no relationship damage at all, or that even if you damage a father-child relationship, that this relationship is of no value anyway. Given that children suicide at about x10 rate, after losing father then the father relationship must have a significant child protective value, ignoring the obvious everyday value. The everyday value is considerable too, if measured from watching a daughter’s tears after her father’s suicide.

    Effectively, most familycaught$ judges calculate by balancing only one side of the balancing equation!

    Now, lets consider the risk of triggering the father’s suicide. Although the concept of suiciding after wrongful denial of access with his own children seems far fetched, the measured risk factor is over 1 in a thousand and under 1 in a hundred, for fathers and mothers.

    We put a lot of people into this situation DV PO, so unsurprisingly, we bury lots of suicides (fathers and a good handful of mothers too), every year.

    The changes (later called Bristol clauses) were suggested by Sir Ron Davison, in a report he wrote after Alan Bristol murdered his children and suicided, in response to an accusation of marital rape by his ex-wife Christine Bristol. (DV POs hadn’t been invented then).

    Sir Ron Davison was a retired Chief Justice, moonlighting in his retirement. Although he had some legal training, he tried to offer social policy advice. I was always told that one of the worst sins a professional can make, is to offer advice outside of their training and experience, unless your training and experience is the closest available and you have consulted with others to cover the gaps in your own knowledge and experience. Sir Ron did none of these. This is exactly the hole that Sir Ron chose to drop himself into.

    He assumed that men would always back off under the threat of a DV PO.

    He failed to perform basic literature search and missed that several research studies had shown that employed men usually will back away from DV PO. However, among unemployed men some show a much increased rate of violence, including murder. This was linked to anti-social personality disorder.

    The net result in practice is that as many women and children are murdered as saved, practically no net lives are saved.

    He also ignored any analysis of perverse effects. In my opinion, he must have been both naive and stupid, in all of his years working in caught$, to have not become aware of the perverse effects that occur quite frequently.

    He assumed that it would work exactly as intended, on a purely rational basis and that there would not be any perverse effects. He naively assumed that the DV Act wouldn’t encourage perjury, to manipulate the familycaught$ into bullying fathers and handing full sole custody on a plate to the “lady”. This bullying on occasion leads to parental suicide, as any thinking person would realise.

    In my opinion, Sir Ron Davison was arrogant in that he seemed to think his legal knowledge was all that was required and a dangerous, unprofessional charlatan in offering social policy advice without competent background issues research. He also completely failed to address the medical/mental health issues involved. He only looked at the court file and completely ignored all of the medical files.

    All the necessary research warnings were in place, BEFORE Parliament passed the DV Act (see DV Act submission).

    The passing of this Act shows the wrongful respect that these MPs had for Sir Ron Davison. They failed to check the relevance of his qualifications, to the task at hand.

    The number of additional suicides since, probably now exceeds 5,000 people. The fact that this number of suicides has gone so high, highlights the careless manner in which NZ Parliament monitors and manages new legislation after passing into law. (Another spectacular example is Building Act and leaky buildings.)

    Neither NZ Parliament, nor Sir Ron Davison come out of this situation with honour or pride.

    Sir Ron’s report, if scored as social policy essay, would not have passed at even the lowest levels.

    Curiously, it appears from the meagre information available on the public record, that in fact what Alan Bristol did was a prescient warning of exactly how the DV Act would go so completely wrong. He was responding to an allegation that lacked any real evidence at all. Perhaps he over reacted, in a very human way, to the possible over reaction that he was warned the courts were likely to make. The legal concept of proportionality covers this dynamic. When disproportionate actions by caughts are known to occur, for example convictions based on no evidence, then citizens are encouraged and incentivised to take disproportionate actions, as Allan Bristol did.

    If this hunch on limited evidence is correct, then Christine Bristol’s attempt to manipulate the caught$ for her perceived gain (ie total control of the children), triggered an unfortunate over reaction on the part of her husband, leading to deaths. Should she have been charged for these manslaughters?

    Besides, any parent who sees themself as so important, that the children’s relationship with the other parent should be destroyed, is not a good and valuable sole parent. For Sir Ron to not see this, he showed himself to be a worthless fool, in my opinion. And hundreds of NZ familycaught$ judges have followed in his dangerous footsteps…..

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 20th May 2014 @ 7:54 pm

  7. Jennifer McIntosh’s work still pervades the Family Court! I’m currently in the Family Court process and my ex is resisting any extension to contact – no day-naps (and over nights are taboo)over at my place. The longest contact priod is fours hours a week.

    The court ordered a s133 report recently and when I read the contents, surprise surprise, the psychologist had based her opinion on the ‘latest research of Jennifer McIntosh’ and her seminar in New Zealand in 2012. The report concludes that my child (now 3.5 years old)has severe anxiety separation and that she suffers from extreme stress both pre and post contact – however, when she is with me, all is fine. I did a search on the psychologist and was alarmed to find out that she had been censured for malpractice in the early 2000’s.

    Am now considering getting another report as this psychologist never witnessed my daughter’s behaviour pre or post contact, but relied on my ex’s testimony and those of her friends and family.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated

    Comment by Pommy Dad — Tue 15th July 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  8. “Pommy Dad”; I know your pain mate.

    All I can offer is that you keep plugging away at it and do not give up.

    Conduct yourself in any court/caught in an honor and in a calm, collected fashion.

    I to had to go through this bizzare weekends only nonsense when my daughter was much younger, … no rhyme or reason to it.

    Like yours, my ex threw her toys out of the cot at the suggestion of longer duration stays – it was her way of conducting a malicious long-range beat up session upon myself.
    I can add the disclaimer here that there was no infidelity involved in the relationship from my side and the relationship break-up was at her behest. The “beat-up” mentality has just been part of her “winners and losers” imagined score card keeping since we parted company.

    Psychologists, Social Workers, LFC’s.
    In my prolonged exposure to these unproffesionl buffoons via ‘family caught’ they tend to operate with NO rational method.
    EG; LFC with no children of her own, didn’t relate to kids and had no idea of childrens perception of timeframes and would take everything literally. If my 5 y/o was asked by this moron something pertaining to magnitude and gave discrete answers “10 or 100” the LFC would err on the cautious side and record “10” when what she SHOULD have had the nouce to realize was that to a 5y/o “10 or 100” is just a mighty big-assed number – probably the biggest they can conjure up under pressure and a pretty positive affirmation of their will.

    EG; Court apppointed headshrink that thought the best way to interview my daughter about her attitude towards me was with my venemous ex (who was attempting parental alienation at the time) sitting in on the session.
    No, … I know what you may be thinking here, but alas, no… there was no cunning quarterback play by this quack, no she wasn’t viewing my ex’s interaction with our daughter to determine if there WAS parental alienation, … like the LFC this dumbass also took everything literally and on face value, not understanding that a 5y/o will moderate the hell out of their answers in the prescence of an over-bearing aggressive adult they have to live with most of the time….

    Comment by Depleted — Tue 15th July 2014 @ 9:17 pm

  9. …continued

    EG; Some CYFS/CYPS Social worker type that examined my daughter when she was teeming with headlice and had dozens of weeping infectious skin sores over her body after being in my ex’s care. This unqualified beauracratic harpy determined that “nothing to see here folks, everythings normal, move along”.

    “Pommy Dad”, these people are institutionalized idiots interested only in feathering their own nests, prolonging conflict and dragging out the duration with which their “expert services” will be required.
    The other modus you get with them is the beauracratic unempathic ticket-puncher. They do not give a rats ass about the welfare of the children they are s’pose to be involved wih ad instead see them as folders to be removed from a desk in order to fill quotas or bill chargable hours.

    Keep a journal, if relevant take photos, of everything that happens in relation to you, your ex and your child.
    When things come down to a courtroom the onus of proof is by mere fact of your gender, going to fall upon you my friend and it is best you come walking quietly but “loaded for bear”.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Depleted — Tue 15th July 2014 @ 9:34 pm

  10. Pommy Dad (#7). MoMA knows someone who might be able to help. Phone Kerry on
    (09)4247762, at a decent hour, to discuss.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Tue 15th July 2014 @ 10:31 pm

  11. Mr. Evgeny Orlov cross examined a psychologist, about 8 years ago and under his persistent and knowledgeable questions, she withdrew much of her recommendations as she was not able to show that they had any scientific basis at all. They were based on her opinion only, on a without evidence basis.

    The father was very pleased with Orlov’s work, bit expensive, but he was very happy to pay the bill. Outcome – working shared parenting arrangement, as is in the child’s best interests.

    This is the very reason that I have made this posting, to encourage fathers to understand these issues well enough, to be able to follow through with sharp cross examination. To do this, you will need to read through both McIntosh’s papers and all of the swags of papers pointing out the untrue information and assumptions in her papers.

    There is quite a bit of work required to read and follow these papers, so if you delay starting – you might never be prepared in time? Be prepared, not just a moaner.

    Self representation notes

    Cheers, MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 16th July 2014 @ 9:29 am

  12. The difference between mothers and fathers under western law.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Tue 26th August 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  13. May already be mentioned else where.. but below are links to the great articles by Bettina Arndt.

    I’ll be using this debunking of the McIntosh research shortly to seek shared care of my daughter, after having to wait 2+ years as she was considered too young because of the influence of McIntosh. Too late for me, but hopefully, this work will encourage others with children below 4 years to seek overnights and shared care.

    Comment by ron — Wed 24th September 2014 @ 4:53 pm

  14. I Can’t Co-Parent With My Ex So We Do the Next Best Thing

    To say that my ex-husband and I don’t get along is a bit of an understatement. Sometimes I hear about those exes who discover they actually can be friends after a divorce, and effectively co-parent their children together. Um, what’s that like? I have no idea.

    The tricky part is that we have joint custody of our two school-aged daughters. It’s a 50 percent split — equal time with each parent. You’d think we’d have to come together and co-parent for our kids, display a united front, make decisions together, etc, but we don’t.
    We don’t co-parent; we parallel parent, and that’s a whole other ball game.
    It’s been two years since we’ve split, and despite my efforts to form a friendship with my kids’ dad, it’s just not working. For whatever reason, he has explicitly stated that he cannot and will not be friends with me. He’s generally nice (albeit standoff-ish) to my face on the very few occasions we have to actually interact, but that’s where it ends.
    As for our kids, here’s what happens:
    We don’t have conversations about the girls other than when we absolutely have to meet with one of their teachers or a therapist. We don’t sit together at school functions. We don’t have dinner as the four of us anymore — ever. We even arranged it so that we barely have to have any contact. Every Monday morning, one of us drops them off at school, and the other one picks them up that afternoon.
    We live completely parallel lives, to the point where our kids rarely talk to their dad when they’re with me, and vice versa. That means I usually go a week at a time without talking to my babies, which is harder some weeks than others, but the flip side is that I don’t have to interact with him on my weeks with them.
    It may sound like a tragedy, but it works for us, and the kids are fine. I’m sure they’d much prefer parents who could be friends, but they probably wish they had parents who could’ve stayed married even more. Sometimes it’s just not possible, and you have to work with what you’ve got.
    We didn’t plan on this, or come up with some grand master scheme with a court-appointed mediation counselor … we just sort of fell into it organically. It’s what happens when every conversation is tense, wildly uncomfortable, and full of accusations and passive-aggressiveness.
    How does it work? We just trust each other to keep the kids healthy, safe, and get them to school on time. That’s it. I think he’s overly strict with them, and he got peeved when I let our 11-year-old read Twilight and The Hunger Games. He doesn’t allow sugar cereal; I toss Pop-Tarts at them in the car on the way to school. We go to churches of different denominations. Santa doesn’t visit his house, and the kids aren’t always in bed by nine at mine.
    We have learned to let it go when the other parent does something that we don’t see eye-to-eye on.
    Which is basically everything. We even have a mantra — what happens at Daddy’s house stays at Daddy’s house, and what happens at Mommy’s house stays at Mommy’s house. It’s beyond frustrating to deal with certain aspects of his parenting that I don’t agree with, but it’s much healthier for the kids to say, “Daddy has his own way of doing things,” instead of, “Your dad’s a jerk.”
    Of course conflicts will arise that cannot be brushed off. Our daughter had recently decided that she didn’t want to go on her sixth grade class trip, but my ex was insistent that she go. He thought it would be good for her, build character, and was deeply afraid that she’d eventually regret not going.
    I wanted her to go too, but seeing how adamant and articulate she was about not wanting to, I thought it would be a good learning experience. Yes, she’d likely regret not going, but what a great opportunity to learn the consequences of decision making.
    Thankfully I have a therapist worth his weight in gold, and we managed to come up with a solution for that quandary without actually having to reach an agreement about it. My ex, my daughter, and I all get one big trump card, something that we can use to supersede each other in order to get what we want. Her dad decided to play his card and make her go on the trip, but she knows that she has a big “get out of jail free” card in her back pocket. I know I’ll be able to play mine at some point in the future, perhaps to allow her to participate in an activity he’d ordinarily disapprove of.
    This arrangement allows our kids to have healthy, loving relationships with both of us, without them having to be in the middle of our constant, harmful conflict.
    Yes, it’s hard, but at the end of the day, this is what’s best for them, and that’s all that matters. And who knows? Maybe someday my ex will decide he can be friends with me after all. Heh — I won’t hold my breath.
    Bravo for surviving pragmatically!

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 13th May 2015 @ 11:26 pm

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