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

Interesting article on Equal Shared-Care

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 1:20 pm Tue 7th July 2015


  1. I recently was involved in a conversation with a women about a couple who were spliting up. The split did not involve lawyers until the father made it clear that he wanted 50/50 shared care. The mother then engaged a lawyer, now lawyer for the child, now psycologists etc. The women I was having a conversation with felt it would be unfair to the mother to be seperated from her children for such long periods of time ‘week on week off’. I asked her, what about him? is it fiar that he should only see his kids every second weekend etc? But he’s a man, they are her kids, was the reply.

    Defining 50/50 shared care into law is of no benefit to those who profit from parental conflict, or those who profit from sexualy bigoted idealism, ingrained in the female I was having a conversation with.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 7th July 2015 @ 3:01 pm

  2. Yes, there will be ongoing opposition and sabotage of equal shared care but the wave of its wisdom is rising. The article provides some interesting arguments about how equal shared care will advance the aims of feminism, and may appeal to self-interest where rational argument and evidence have failed.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Wed 8th July 2015 @ 10:44 am

  3. The article mentions the much poorer economics of solo parents, compared to together parents.

    The elephant in the room is mental health, as solo parents are often solo due to inability to create and sustain efficient adult intimate relationships. (“Oh, I am putting my children ahead of my own relationships”, may be a cover for inability with respect for adult relationships, especially intimate.) This lack of adult relating is often accompanied by weakness in ability to relate to children. This does impact onto parenting skills, so that such parents often should not be left in sole care of young children, for long periods (to the mind of a young child) eg over 1 1/2 days. This consideration is a strong child protective argument in favour of shared parenting, if the parents refuse to live together.

    Although we should avoid stigmatising solo parents, the economic and parenting inefficiencies do remain in effect and do need to be rationally addressed, as suggested in the article.

    Certainly, a good place to start would be much increased funding for mental health treatment and social supports.

    Another aspect is due consideration, in the setting of social policies, to avoid use of fertility as an enforced meal ticket. This is difficult to achieve, as it is rather easy to use children as manipulation pawns.

    The catch cry of the children’s interests must be used, after carefully disentangling it from the mother’s and father’s interests….

    Another elephant in the room, is that a more balanced policy along the lines suggested would almost certainly balance incentives, so that women’s initiation of divorce would be more at the level of men’s, ie a marked reduction in the total divorce rate.

    This would greatly improve children’s outcomes, due to being much more able to benefit from frequent contact with both parents and the better economic efficiencies of being in a two parent family.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 8th July 2015 @ 10:30 pm

  4. Murray: Yep

    Comment by Man X Norton — Wed 8th July 2015 @ 11:06 pm

  5. Shared care.

    John Howard in 2005 broke away from the family court system used in NZ, UK, USA, AUST. This was as a result of a survey into male suicide where an overwhelming percentage of victims were men estranged from their children.

    This was ground breaking stuff in 2005

    The Dom Post published an article about 5cm square.

    Soon after a half page spread was published in the Dom Post about the reforms that the NZ Family Court were embarking on with a picture of Judge Boshier and comments about moving towards the Australian model. This was half a page but did not once talk of adopting shared care as a matter of course.

    A famous politician once said “if you control the press you can control the masses”. Who was that Austrian born politician with an odd moustache?

    Comment by Paul — Thu 9th July 2015 @ 7:33 am

  6. Good balanced article from a women.
    Thankyou Jill Goldson.

    Look how damaging conflict is to the children.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 7th August 2015 @ 4:13 pm

  7. And again.
    Good article by Jill Goldson.
    Jealousy type behaviours are results.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 6th November 2015 @ 9:24 am

  8. I don’t disagree with shared care, but the number of people who actually achieve this (in my experience) are a limited few.

    The end result is the majority of might-have-been-shared-care mothers making friends with their kids rather than engaging in a relationship with the father.

    This satisfies the needs of the woman, does little for child, and becomes a major failing in society.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 7th November 2015 @ 5:54 pm

  9. I don’t disagree with shared care, but the number of people who actually achieve this (in my experience) are a limited few.

    I think that your comment is very true, for parents where one stoops down and uses familycaught$.

    You are forgetting that a substantial number of separating parents never go near to the familycaught$. These parents have a longer term focus, which also augers well for their parenting skills, as this is a long term exercise too.

    These parents have markedly better mental health in both parents and this factor suggests much better parenting skills.

    Unfortunately, the children whose parents who do use familycaught$, suffer doubly, loss of family resource through milking by legal workers and their parents poorer mental health and poorer parenting skills due to mental health problems. (Of course the mental health problems are often in both litigous parents, or at least in one of them.)

    Much suffering by children could be alleviated, by reducing the impacts of familycaught$ on separations.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 7th November 2015 @ 9:33 pm

  10. What you’re suggesting Murray, is that parents who do not use the family court are

    a) successful at shared parenting
    b) that the outcome is good for their children

    once again this is not my experience.

    Yes some are successful, others engage in an endless conflict, some cope by avoiding conflict, others by avoiding or ignoring the other, dealing with each other through third parties, etc, etc.

    There are lots of strategies that allow people to engage in shared parenting unsuccessfully. Separated ‘co-operation’ doesn’t automatically guarantee a successful outcome.

    Aside from that it allows children to engage in a new range of strategies with parents, that wouldn’t otherwise exist in the home environment.

    Yes, there have been studies of the failings of separation, i.e. the effect of the absent parent, and studies of the successes of ‘successful’ shared parenting situations, but I don not think this reflects the reality and outcomes of the majority of children living in a separated family environment.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 8th November 2015 @ 6:33 am

  11. Among the men’s movement, we tend to see the examples of parent’s where one or both refuse to negotiate. Certainly, familycaught$ mercilessly milks these parents for as much assets and borrowing capacity as they can mangle out of them.

    But it is also true that there are a large number of parents who do negotiate successfully between themselves. As a result, they are functional parents, they work fairly productively together, they don’t damage each other or waste the other’s assets. What they do for objects, they do also for their parenting relationship, they work together.

    Maybe not perfectly, but far more effectively than the parents who drag each other into the familycaught$, for a milking.

    Some of the non-fighters achieve it, by the surrender by one parent, or by totally decamping away from the parenting relationship. Certainly the familycaught$ incentivises such responses, by maniacly destroying hope.

    However, there is a large number of parents who parent separately, quite well. The best windows to ask about such parents won’t be talking only to separated fathers who are frustrated with being milked, or mothers either.

    Talk to schoolteachers, who will confirm that there are some parents who parent separately, quite effectively.

    The familycaught$ know little or nothing about these parents, so cannot pass on their lessons to their customer$. Why would they, it would reduce their ill gotten gains, or paramount intere$t? (I am being rude, Judge Trapski did know about parenting separately and those who succeed at it. He wanted to share these lessons, but was unsuccessful in getting other legal workers to follow him.)

    I have tried hard to learn from such parents, when I have had some contact. I try to pass on their lessons.

    But it is hard to have negotiations in good faith, against the backdrop of familycaught$ corrupted negotiations.

    This is why the existing familycaught$ institution and all of its existing staff have to go. They must be replaced by people with much less greed in their hearts and with human care and compassion for children.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 8th November 2015 @ 11:06 am

  12. #10 Downunder, I do see what you are talking about, with much pain.

    Although I am trying to give more attention to the positive ie the away from familycaught$ examples, I am greatly concerned about what goes on in familycaught$.

    The best way I can see (that we can do) to reduce the damage being done by familycaught$, is to try to show people that there are better ways of approaching these problems.

    However, when 1 party chooses short term gain, over their own long term welfare, then you have a recipe for family disaster (and legal worker’s unjust enrichment) exactly as you have said.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 8th November 2015 @ 1:40 pm

  13. There are some separated couples with only a dog between them that show more co-operation than some parents with children.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 8th November 2015 @ 4:53 pm

  14. Take a look on Stuff today 4 April 2018. Item -“Father denied same benefit as ex-partner despite sharing custody of daughter”. Rather odd since in our case both my ex and I were on WINZ benefits simultaneously after custody was granted.
    Also from this item: – surely its time for a real auditing of the “HRC” is undertaken. Is it really a “Human Rights commission”?; or really something else masquerading as one? I go with the latter.

    Comment by Kiwi Kieth — Wed 4th April 2018 @ 7:25 am

  15. There is no difficulty both being on benefits but one benefit (for the first applicant) gets the money for the children and the other does not.
    Our friend Jim Bailey fought this battle for many years. He even received a court decision saying it was unfair and that mum should share half her “excess” with him for the time his son was in his care 50:50.
    These days WINZ are requiring the receiving parent of SPS (isn’t sole a min-nomer for good care of kids) to by formal letter and signature to reject their “right” before they will change to the other parenbt. I have a guy who had the child in his care for 6 weeks solid and a signed agreement that he would have the majority of care via FDR mediation BUT that was not enough for WINZ and mum then reneged on the agreement because it was going to cost her money and the new job she expected didn’t show up.

    In my view all benefits are soul destroying and if you can get out of WINZ’s clutches and support yourself that is just so much better for kids and parents and everyone. It may be subsistence on WINZ but it isn’t a living. While I appreciate this man’s fight for fairness I suspect the battle for survive is much better spent looking for work or creating a business than bashing heads against the unmoving wall of bureaucracy.

    Comment by Old Timer — Wed 4th April 2018 @ 9:50 am

  16. #15

    all benefits are soul destroying

    In the origins of the system we remember, that was primarily what they were intended to avoid.

    In the reality of OECD economics being forced into this existence, which many men are should likewise not be a soul destroying exercise.

    Just as any man fights the Family Court for a relationship with their child, the benefit battle to be in an equivalent situation, is not unreasonable.

    Would you expect male beneficiaries to deprive themselves or their child in an attempt to better themselves by getting above the benefit line.

    It’s no different from our generation being forced to face the same circumstances on reduced benefits while the IRD assignments claw back child support penalties.

    The benefit system is not meant to comfortable but neither should it be soul destroying or even more so for men, simply because our individual nature makes us easier to pick on.

    Good on this fellow for taking up the battle on our behalf.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 4th April 2018 @ 10:58 am

  17. I love it : all benefits are soul destroying.

    That is essentially what it comes down to.

    All benefits require inalienable rights to be substituted to privileges

    The benefit is the carrot for more than many relationships breakdown.

    The race is who gets there first and claims it.

    And it is gender based.

    And the drama becomes who got more time.

    Back to King Solomon’s days “SPLIT THE BABY in HALF”

    He who ends with the most limbs wins.

    Is that not just another face to the same old “DIVIDE AND CONQUER.”


    Comment by WrongGender — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 7:30 am

  18. AS far as a policy of 50/50; that is the common sense approach for parents who may not be able to continue an intimate relationship with each other but that are focused on the children’s best interest and welfare as paramount.

    NOW COMES AFFIANTS and unemployed parents whom from their child birth have had to rely on benefits to subsist.

    There is a clear contrast between two employed parents attitudes to child rearing and making compromises for their kids and that of a family with one sole earner parent whose budget cannot stretch enough to support his entire family by him/her self.

    I assume more than 95% of those relationships are at risk by default. AS soon as the sole earning parent falls below the earning expectations of the stay at home parent. Shit hits the fan.

    She divorces him and marries the DPB. And to guarantee full care. One only has to say “I am afraid!”

    Comment by WrongGender — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 7:37 am

  19. I think we are stuck on this 50:50 term, and try and relate everything to it, along with various confused images of what constitutes a beneficiary of the state.

    The benefit system takes into account both working couples and non working couples, who in some way benefit from the state as they have some ‘declared social status’.

    If you look at this from this point of view the child having a ‘declared social status’ of being financially dependant on the mother by default, and the state defending that position rather than the child being in an equivalent state of care regardless of the gender of the parent.

    In other words the covert suggestion is that regardless of whatever is being paid is half of what the mother could receive and shouldn’t be paid to the irresponsible man, rather than the responsible party being paid equally to fulfill the social responsibility they undertakes at that time.

    You might wonder why Labour voted down an equal pay for women bill put up by National. The premise that might be floated is that it was just sour grapes, and they didn’t want that legislation in the name of the right wing party.

    In any analysis of the Feminist expectations you always find they look to advantage women never to create a gender equalibrium.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 8:52 am

  20. It’s woman’s biological nature to seek security.

    While a small minority of women can manage that as individuals the greater majority will gravitate towards the easiest or most affluent or reliable dependency.

    That is not a social formula that encourages cooperation between genders or biological parents.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 11:00 am

  21. The idea of government policy regarding care time of parents in regards to their progeny is simply a wedge designed to create turmoil within society.

    All forms of affirmative action always end up being used by the minority that should benefit from it as a sharpened weapon of mass social disruption.

    I think Murray keeps hitting the nail on the head about mental health…





    MENTAL .

    Apple does not fall too far from tree

    Water does not jump over holes

    blood is thicker than water

    like father like son

    Where the deer jumps the doe jumps.

    So mentality is something that gets inherited.

    But I do also think the idea is too focused on gender disparities.

    On one hand females are the weaker sex (ask anyone that has just given birth) and they need protection from violent males.

    The more accurate saying should be that no sex is weaker but each has its weaknesses or moments of weaknesses and cater for those.

    On the other hand, all genders are equal and any disparity in income or earning is unfair and sexist.

    In reality, a woman of child bearing age or with child is a liability and more costly to employ than any man. ( I know feminists will find this disparaging but all the more true).

    Comment by WrongGender — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 11:21 am

  22. I do however believe that between 0 and 7, the relationship between mother and child should be protected. Of course based on her mental state of health.

    Comment by WrongGender — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 11:24 am

  23. And essentially, shared care will not work unless both parents are mature enough to make it work.
    Without this pre-requisite – no amount of care time will be enough for the immature parent.

    Comment by WrongGender — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 11:26 am

  24. @21

    a wedge to create turmoil in society.

    This a casual observation based on male experience.

    While Feminists grind away in their pursuits, the state works to limit its expenditure and the numbers of totally dependant females. By relying on the assumption that women are disadvantaged by reproduction money is transferred from the male reproductive parent to the female reproductive parent making the group of women in between the totally dependent and totally independent as large as possible and also creating the illusion that the majority of women are operating independently.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 11:37 am

  25. @24 Scott v Williams Supreme Court Decision mentioned in this post does indicate that the law supports a financial formula to protect a woman from her dependency within the social strata she has existed.

    That’s something along the lines of ‘in the manner to which she is accustomed’ which brings into question ethics of protecting a women’s social status as well as her independence.

    That might be where the real wedge is. Men take the social and financial hit on behalf on the women’s social status not on behalf of her independence.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 11:50 am

  26. @21

    a woman of child bearing age is a liability and more costly to employ than any man

    Costly men, I.E the least capable, most likely to create inefficiency and additional costs were excluded from the economic equation a long time ago. We’ve added to that by not training boys and young men and rely on the lower cost of immigrants.

    Today we see the state in various ways ensuring the employment of women, legally enforcing the acceptance of liability.

    The ability of women to fund their existence is far more legally privileged than a man’s.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 12:06 pm

  27. Shared care will not work unless both parents are mature enough to make it work.

    Don’t you mean; it only takes one immature party to make it fail, and whether that is the mother, her lawyer, the child’s counsell, the judge or any other state clingon involved, is beside the point.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Thu 5th April 2018 @ 12:14 pm

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