Leading Women for Shared Parenting (LW4SP) was founded to dispel the widespread myth that it is only – or even mainly – disgruntled fathers with limited access to their children who promote equal shared parenting as the default model for separating parents. That is simply not the truth.
A growing number of children are being raised without the benefit of meaningful engagement with both parents. As contemporary research conclusively demonstrates, a child who loses one of his or her parents through a custody decision, usually the father, is a child at risk for a number of negative personal and social outcomes.
Research also proves that, although children want a relationship with both their parents regardless of marital status, healthy bonding with a non-residential parent is impossible without a substantial amount of time spent in that parent’s physical presence.
Consequently, LW4SP is sending elected representatives, the judiciary, and policy-makers the clear message that substantive changes in family law must be implemented: changes that will ensure children the opportunity to remain fully engaged with both their parents into adulthood.
The women endorsing this statement know that not all children can have full access to both parents, and they know that not all parents are fit to raise their children. But LW4SP also knows that far too many good, willing and fit parents are pushed to the margins of their children’s lives by unfriendly family courts, government policies and laws that undermine family integrity and autonomy.
It should be alarming to women everywhere to know, as they look at their sons, there is a significant likelihood our government will turn him into a visitor to his children in the event he no longer resides with his child’s mother.
Parental separation should not spell the end of a relationship between a child and one of his or her parents.
Forced separation from one’s own flesh and blood in the absence of abuse is morally wrong and socially irresponsible. That is why LW4SP supports equally shared parenting as the default arrangement for separating parents of minor children.
“Shared Parenting is an issue which knows no bounds. It is neither the domain of conservatives or liberals, poor or wealthy, and pays no attention to ethnicity or gender. The issue transcends all demographics. Our goals are shared, and should be supported, across all sectors of society.
Children benefit most from the active involvement of both parents regardless of their marital status. The undersigned recognize that absent issues of abuse, neglect or abandonment, government policy and laws must be structured in such a way as to maximize the opportunity of all parents to contribute to the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development of their children.”