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Monday
Oct142019

Training events and AGM

At two free events in Glasgow (23rd October PM) and in Edinburgh (24th October AM) Megan Hunter from the High Conflict Institute in San Diego will talk about their new programme of online training intended to help separated parents to move on from their disputes with their ex-partner.  
Lawyers, mediators and other family support professionals who work with separating parents are invited to hear how this online training helps parents strengthen conflict resolution and co-parenting skills. 
Click on one of the event links above to book a free place.
New Ways for Families® teaches four basic relationship and conflict resolution skills: flexible thinking, managed emotions, moderate behaviours and checking yourself by reminding yourself to use these skills when new issues arise.
The first AGM of Shared Parenting Scotland will be held on Thursday 7th November in Edinburgh. This event marks the change of name of the charity from Families Need Fathers Scotland.  The work remains the same.
Following the AGM there will be a talk by talk on Raising Awareness of Parental Alienation by Jan James of the Good Egg Safety CIC.  Jan heads up this internationally awarded Community Interest Company specialising in behavioural change campaigns in road safety and health.  The organisation is best known as the UK's leading specialist for child safety in cars, in home and for its young driver national school & college programme.
Child protection features strongly in campaigning, and the organisation has extended its remit to raise awareness of the  long-term psychological harm to children and target parents caused through parental alienation.  Working in partnership with leading experts specialising in this field; the Good Egg Coalition is aiming to raise public awareness of the issue to help bring about much needed social change.  They are currently undertaking a UK-wide survey and plan to use the results to influence Scottish politicians as they consider changes in family law and court procedures.
Monday
Oct142019

Law Law Society Journal publishes opinion piece on the Children (Scotland) Bill

In an opinion article published in the October Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, Ian Maxwell from Families Need Fathers Scotland comments on the recently published Children (Scotland) Bill.

"We are not alone in commenting on the shortcomings of this new legislation" he comments.  Our aticle says that it is a missed opportunity to transform Scottish Family Law into a world-leading position.  We suggest a change in terminology to remove the labels "residence" and "contact" from court orders as they tend to reinforce the mistaken opinion that one parent is in control.

We also suggest that the Bill could guide sheriffs and judges to take a different starting point for allocation of parenting time.

A rebuttable presumption of shared care was introduced in Belgian family law in 2006 and has led to about 50% of court orders being made for shared care. Setting the starting point doesn't remove the power of the sheriff or judge to order any appropriate division of time the child spends with each parent according to safety and suitability.

It does mean that the full involvement of both parents is taken seriously and moves the process away from the pursuer/defender battleground if both are capable and loving parents and their children have equal expectations of both.

Monday
Oct142019

Increased equality helps both mothers and fathers

A study by sociologists at the University of Zurich shows that increased equality has a positive effect on mothers and fathers.

Thanks to greater freedom to strike an individual balance between caring for children and working in paid employment, mothers and fathers today are happier with their lives than parents were 20 or 30 years ago.

The researchers investigated what effect these changed societal expectations have had on the life satisfaction of mothers and fathers. For their empirical work, they evaluated data from the long-term study of the Socio-Economic Panel at the Institute for Economic Research Berlin (DIW), which are representative for Germany. It contains data on more than 18,000 women and almost 12,000 men who were surveyed between 1984 and 2015.

“While in the last few years the prevailing message in the media is that modern parents are under great stress or even regret having become parents, our analysis shows the opposite,” says first author Klaus Preisner.

The greater freedom of choice and the increased equality of mothers’ and fathers’ roles has been encouraged – and in some cases even made possible at all – by modern policies for families. Parental leave enables mothers and fathers to share childcare responsibilities and to be involved in their children’s upbringing.

In addition, subsidized childcare outside the home, such as it exists in Germany, also makes it easier for families to combine parenthood and employment. Klaus Preisner also sees another advantage: “These family-friendly political measures are not only significant for equality between the sexes. They are just as important for their role in improving life satisfaction of parents and thus ultimately of children.”

Klaus Preisner, Franz Neuberger, Ariane Bertogg and Julia M. Schaub. Closing The Happiness Gap: The Decline of Gendered Parenthood Norms and the Increase in Parental Life Satisfaction, Gender & Society. August 27, 2019

Sunday
Oct062019

2019 Parental Alienation Survey

Imagine if you were prevented from seeing your own children.

Not because you’d done anything to justify it.

Not because you didn’t love and care for them deeply.

Not because you weren’t around for them.

Imagine that you had separated/divorced and your former partner wanted to eradicate you from your children’s lives.  Wanted to punish you for being an ‘inadequate wife/ father’.

A former partner who speaks badly about you to your children. Who makes them think you don’t really care about them. Who makes them ’reject’ you.  Someone who twists your words and distorts the narrative to make your precious children lose their close attachment to you.

If you think it isn’t possible...know this.

There are thousands of parents in Scotland (both mums and dads) living this torture right now. Today. Every hour.  Many understandably can’t take it anymore and give up.  Some take their own lives.

Many more have spent thousands fighting through courts to regain some access, only to have their contact orders breached again. And again. And again.

Fighting only to have an opportunity to co-parent. Just to love and see their own children and play a part in their lives.  Everything most of us take for granted.

If you know anyone in this dark place right now, please ask them to complete the strictly confidential survey below.  These results are being shared with MSPs as they consider changes in family law and court processes.  (Note that some of the options in question 8 do not apply in Scotland - use the Other option to describe the stage you are at.)

Every story heart-breaking. Every story demanding a speedy resolution.

Please help

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6HNLKRN

Sunday
Oct062019

Online training for shared parenting

At events in Glasgow (23rd October PM) and in Edinburgh (24th October AM) Megan Hunter from the High Conflict Institute in San Diego will talk about their new programme of online training intended to help separated parents to move on from their disputes with their ex-partner.  
Lawyers, mediators and other family support professionals who work with separating parents are invited to hear how this online training helps parents strengthen conflict resolution and co-parenting skills.  Click on one of the event links above to book a free place.
New Ways for Families® teaches four basic relationship and conflict resolution skills: flexible thinking, managed emotions, moderate behaviours and checking yourself (checking yourself by reminding yourself to use these skills when new issues arise).
This 12-module online training programme will soon be available in Scotland supplemented by face-to-face or online coaching provided by Shared Parenting Scotland (formerly Families Need Fathers Scotland).

Megan Hunter is a speaker, author, and international expert on high-conflict disputes, complicated relationships, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She has over 13 years experience as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.