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The Equal Parent Presumption
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In custody battles over the children of separated parents, the prevailing standard of evaluating what is in the "best interests of the child" has been scrutinized because of the discretionary nature of what is "best" and because of the bias in favour of the child residing in one "primary residence." In response, a consensus is beginning to emerge that it is vitally important that children maintain meaningful relationships with both parents after divorce. In The Equal Parent Presumption, Edward Kruk proposes a child-focused approach based on a standard that considers the best interests of the child from the perspective of the child and a responsibility-to-needs orientation to social justice for children and families. Challenging previous research and received ideas, Kruk presents an evidence-based framework of equal parental responsibility as the most effective means of ensuring the protection of family relationships following divorce, and shielding children from ongoing parental conflict and family violence. The existing system of determining parental rights and responsibilities is harming families. The Equal Parent Presumption addresses a major barrier to the principle of gender equality in parenting after divorce, and proposes a viable alternative to sole custody in the form of a legal presumption of shared and equal parenting.
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A child-focused approach to the "best interests of the child."

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A child-focused approach to the "best interests of the child."

About the Author

Edward Kruk is associate professor of social work at the University of British Columbia.

Reviews

"Edward Kruk provides thorough, thought-provoking background on the subject of child custody. In doing so he allows the reader to understand the issues, become interested in alternatives, and wonder why new initiatives have not been put in place." "Primarily directed at professionals such as social workers and psychologists who are involved in child custody cases, the social perspective that pervades The Equal Parent Presumption will also be very beneficial and insightful to members of the legal profession who are the forefront in these of cases." David Este, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary

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