Strasbourg 2018 conference on Shared Parenting ++ Press briefing


I suggest to start this panel. Thank you for joining us. I will say a few words as vice president of the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP). This council was born in 2014 in Bonn. It consist of three bodies: A) A research body.
B) Furthermore the professionals in family. B) And yet we qualified civil society. We also wanted to, and we propose
good parity with the office of the International Council
on Shared Parenting. We are now in the fourth conference. So simply and quickly: the first conference,
held in 2014, wanted to draw up the state of affairs with regard to research into Shared Parenting,
from an international perspective The second conference which took place, was in
between scientific research and professional practises. The third conference, held in Boston in 2017, worked on
switches between the research and the practice. And it brought us very,
I would say very simply to the theme of this fourth conference,
since we realized that now we need to work better with justice
and with the political world, to spread the work out what the
international board goals. And possibly make recommendations
related to the regional work. Here. The floor is yours. Very quickly also to present the French situation on shared parenting:
la résidence alternée. Since it is this discussion about the
French situation and laws in France. And I want to make a point about the social
cost and the individual cost of what the France calls the right to visit and a
weekend once in a fortnight: ‘classic’. This means that children see one of the
parents – often the father – two days in a fortnight. The Economic Social and Environmental Council, in its last report in 2017, notes that the
so-called single parent situation represents 20% of families in France. Most are not really single parents. These are single-parent homes.
That is to say that the father is still there. And there are single-parent families
where the father is absent or died, he is not known. But most are single-parent homes.
This means that the father has rights for visiting and classic weekend. 19% of children under the age of six live in
the single parent home system. In 84% of cases they live mainly
with the mother. And in most cases when they
live with the mother. there is a weekend right called classic: two days once in a fortnight with their father. These living arrangements are still unequal
in the territory. And yesterday we had two presentations
that compared court decisions, showing that the citizens, especially children,
are not treated in the same manner depending on the court of appeal to
which the application is made. thus depending on the region
where the father or mother resides. That is not meant in the
French justice system. We know that this way of
living the children, is quite detrimental to their development and
good physical health. There will be a lot of research this afternoon
on these issues there. I will not detail. But you already know this afternoon,
we will simply update on the latest research. We also know that the world is changing. As was said by one of Denmark’s
players this morning, we live in a world where parents,
young parents, share more responsibilities in education
and care for children. We live in a world where coparenting is
the rule. Where two homes spreads. But with laws that date from the time where parental authority and
residence depended on a single parent. And we will see just now with the following stakeholders that this poses enormous
problems in the lives of couples and in the lives of children who do not go
in the direction of appeasement of the relationships after separation. With the prospects that we develop,
we want to explore the French level. It is all about how we can encourage
regular contact between children and both parents and diverse relationships as
stated by Michael Lamb yesterday morning. The important thing is the relationships, not
diversified, only are diversified on weekends and on Wednesday when there is no school. With double domicile the parents would see
the whole life of the child during the week. How to support the desire of a parent
to set up two homes living arrangements if the other parent does not want to? There are many countries we support
where the will of the parent is there. The view of the French judge
Josiane Bigot yesterday afternoon, was to give children access tot the judges, presumably to improve the
interdisciplinary conciliation as showed by the Namur judge
Marie-France Carlier yesterday. And then how to help single-parent
households with limited resources. Obviously what we also have to consider
is the financial reality. Both parents, but also women,
are known to have financial difficulties because of the
current organization of society now. I give the first word to Philippe Latombe What are the challenges currently at
the change of law in France. Then a lawyer Regine Barthelemy
representing the National Council of bars, an organization
on the French level. Then we descend to the local level with
Monia Scattereggia. One who will present the
Child Protection in Strasbourg. What it is in cases of separation. And then you will have time for questions. And we conclude 12:30 pm.
Make the best of it. Thank you. Thank you so much.
I am very happy to be there today and to present the work that
I lead since November 2010 in the French parliament. Then I did, as part of a parliamentary niche, of my political group the
Democratic Movement, a law proposal on
double domicile for children after divorce. And this bill I thought was very timid in its legal consequences,
since it was a double domicile. And that was more in the spirit
of start instilling the idea as for children they could be
good to have two homes. The first evolvement on this subject
generated a lot of reaction which was sometimes extremely virulent. So I thought that this proposal would
endorse a kind of social consensus to be able to create audio
for several years. Eh, I’ve realized that it was not
at all the case and had started excitement again,
coming back on the occasion of this law. And this is still not extinct since
I listened to the news again last night. It is very cool to resubmit the proposals in the form of changes in the court law. And the reactions were exactly the same as
last year, the same arguments. It was not because of a
rocket that it would not work. Even when we do polls, opinion surveys, the interviewed population is rather
favourable to the shared parenting in the double domicile. There is some obvious vis-à-vis discomfort with judicial decisions
in terms of family law today. Why? Because the family model in France,
as elsewhere in European countries, has changed significantly for several years. It was thought that ‘the marriage for all’ was the high point of this development. And suddenly everything else
will be able to arise and that we would be able to see
a modernization of family law. And because lifestyles have changed attitudes,
it was going to happen quietly. In fact, it could not have a name. We realize that the whole debate
on family rights, as soon as you touch it,
in fact is a pressure cooker. Just open the lid and then we realize
that the pressure is still there. And we realize that it is not possible to
touch the justice bill project. It is a small landscape where things are
touched only on procedural consideration. And we do not touch really
the heart of the matter. This is what I told in Parliament and to
the Justice minister and yesterday: I think that does not address the
modernization of family law in France. It is running a social risk that
is relatively important. Because today in France family law is still based on
the marriage and the divorce. The newly composed family does not
exist in French family law. We talk a lot about the status of proud parents,
but there is nothing in texts today. Shared parental authority and double domicile
are evolutions that are important. Why the double domicile, which is a
consequence of the shared parental authority, could not be the case? It was because of administrative issues
on this subject: Today national education does not include
the fact that the child has two residences. One speaks of the residence of the
referent number one and possibly furthermore the home of
referent number two. For example: the school only registers the
address of parent number one. So the idea was to modernize. I proposed to this a number of amendments
that found a way in law profession. With amendments we’re doing a little bit less
because I did not want them to appear in media. I wanted a substantive discussion on main lines,
but yesterday they have requested a debate. I proposed four amendments. And you will see that these are
donations to the field: they are different. But watch. The difficulty is that there are
twelve distillation dominoes. I want to say:
there is an amendment, the idea to appease what was
called ‘voluntary separation’. It creates a distance for one parent by setting
a delay on the Civil Code. Today the Civil Code in France said that
one of the two parents that wants to move away, must inform the other parent in due course. This is a problem in the
exercise of parental authority, I want to clarify in the Civil Code that
‘in due course’ could be replaced by a period of at least three months. Refusal. Saying: leave flexibility in time,
makes it possible that the obliged messaging takes place just before a move away
instead of six months or a year earlier. What if you do not leave time
for thoughtfulness. It is realized in practice. In a decision that is almost immediate
because it is fifteen days before the move away, there will be insufficient time to
go into mediation. We do not have time for understanding the
jurisdiction other than the judge for family matters will know
of the event. He will end up having to decide several
months after the relocation. And in most cases will be forced. Just found the remoteness of the child been reinstated for example
in a new school. And not wanting to change his habits
will endorse the decision. And suddenly we will find ourselves in
a parental conflict that is getting worse. And the fact of putting a deadline
has been refused. #!$%@ Who was refused so that the game can
reign in the bench division? Saying is that we should prioritize
the judge so that he can make time specifically to
defuse these conflicts. And decided to start with.. refusing. The procedural denials were
running high. That we were drawn in a process of law
was not the subject of the amendment in parliament It was not planned in the original project. It’s not worth it to change the
Civil Code like that. It is in something very procedural. When it comes to time, it
takes at least three months. This is the procedure. To say that the judge rules but in summary:
this is the procedure. In fact, there really is a caveat
on that part there. Another amendment is an amendment
in principle, which was: tell the judge everything. In France the judge may arrange for
the child and parents. So parents can keep a link with the child so that the child can maintain
a connection with the parents. Here the idea was to tell the judge
to ensure that nothing is imposed. But we said to the judges: the separation of the child from
his two parent must not remain. The judge must ensure that, while we have new technologies:
even if the father is away, he can have contact with the child. There are devices, telephone, computer,
allowing even when it is far away the father is able to maintain a
bond with the child, even at moments when the residence is
with the other parent. It was refused. This is a position of principle. We’ll have to discuss it later and the real question is:
when do we discuss it. This is the question
I asked the Minister of justice. Today we can not do without a
modernization of the family law in France. The double domicile, shared parenting,
removal and treatment, procedural voluntary separation
should be treated. As should be treated the status of
proud parents. Because we have newly composed families,
that are required for the child’s interest. The proud parents could
possibly have rights and duties vis-à-vis their gorgeous children. Today in France there is a vacuum. A step-parent can hardly perform any
act, considered as a trusted third party. But it’s very complicated
to involve the third party trust as part of a parental conflict. Since the parent could also be challenged
by the trusted third party. Because these two new joint
cohabitants or partner .. This is something that we will have to box.
And today this is not the case. This is what I strive to do
for the past 18 months. I will continue to do so
without any difficulty or fear. Despite the highly virulent lifts, we even had
the right to come out the closet yesterday. To be always in the child’s interest. The idea is not to say that it is
for the interest of both parents. It’s always in the child’s interest. And that’s why I am silent.
I’ve been working for a year. That I will continue in the coming years.
Thank you. So that will bring support, not. And it works? Yes, it will. Promised. Thank you. I thank the organizers of this conference
inviting me. I am very happy to share the thoughts
around two homes living arrangements and the modernization of family law. So I am a lawyer in Montpellier since 1980. The subject of modernization of family law, I am very pleased that you use this expression, is a subject in my practice in
my recurring exchanges because in 45 years we will say the
family has changed thoroughly. We returned still in the era
of modernity family law in 1970. It is not very far since
1970 happened in the paternal parental authority,
must still remember that. And in 1975 we went to that
revolution in divorce. This means abandoning the only fault divorce
in favour of the plurality of procedures. By doing this in the late 90s
it was discovered and it was the subject of a report of the sociologist
Théry which was controlled by the minister of Justice Elisabeth Guigou
and Martine Aubry who was minister of included solidarity,
so a report about the evolution of family law. And Théry wrote that it was an
unfinished mutation. It could still take this term. And analysis is:
what in this mutation was unfinished and what were the
reforms that could allow to move forward and already at that time the
issue was the status of the step-parent. Because the proud parents exist
but there is no law. He works every day but has no status. There was also talk at the time of issues of parental responsibility
and issues of residence. Why? Joint parental authority.
Also to remember that joint custody was introduced
into French law in 1987: The Malhuret law. Previously there was custody.
Prosecution covered everything. That is, it was the residence
and authority parent and the other parent has visitation
and weekend rights including a right of supervision.
That’s all. Only from 1987 dates the story of
joint parental authority exercise: Possible, but it is not possible. And the principle will enter
into law in 2002. 2002 is the result of a part of
the rich report that says we are to make a fatherless society. Why? Because visiting and
weekend rights once in two weeks, half the vacation,
exercised or not exercised. This leads to disinvestment and
a fatherless society. Behind there is the report of Forgery. Madame Cloud to Forgery and
law professor who did the translation in legislative
prospective findings and proposals of sociologist Thery. If there is one thing I regret now, and I listen with great interest Mr. Latombe, and I welcome the investment and
interest in family issues, what I regret is that today
we have proposed laws concerning family rights
without prior preparation. Suddenly there, for example the last bill,
offered us to say why one wanted a divorce immediately.
Luckily is was discarded. Good. Clear to trace actually the fault divorce. Saying: I want, I have grievances etc. And that’s when experience shows
that since then one is said at the beginning of a procedure about how we will say it,
wants a divorce to be appeased. Less than 5% of divorces now
is fault divorce. It is a small note to
say that the reform, the law that is being discussed,
has not been prepared by any work preparatory, no report, no exchange. As experience shows that there is trade between economists psychoanalysts psychologists
sociologists and lawyers, which is fundamental to the development of family law. The reports of which I speak,
from Thery or that verse de Forgery resulted in all the reforms we
had in the years 2002-2004. For example the joint exercise of
parental authority as a principle in 2002, the introduction into the law of
the possibility for a judge to set two homes,
including when the parents disagree. And in 2004 divorce reform that
has just allowed to go into a divorce proceedings, without saying it, why they want a divorce, simply
explaining what are the measures that I ask for the consequences of
interim measures. The facts is that once you have stand
before the judge that organized the life of the
family during the procedure. Well, if we did not have a prior agreement
on the principle of divorce, we often have that sooner or later. Because the mass is said in quotation marks,
that is the problem of what we leave behind us. Not all the time, but still. And we go to the organization of life. Passing the organization of life,
without a fight about the cause of the divorce.
One is yielded That is, we can easier accept mediation
procedures and changes. We have, in spite of everything,
pacified procedures since 2004. It is very important:
the procedure has taken over our minds. In a sense in the same way as the fact of
being able to tell people today that we receive joint exercise
of parental authority: it is the law. Well it is much more accepting than previously. And suddenly we had the conflict on
the joint exercise of parental authority. That’s not to say that in terms of
consequences is not difficult. Especially at school level, for tax,
at the administrative level, all kinds of ways. But still, it entered and returned
in the minds of those concerned, that it is not because the separation,
that one of the two will be excluded from the decisions concerning the child. While I agree that it is the
principle there after the fact, how to do so. But me in my professional experience,
I see that there is nevertheless some progress in this respect in the way reports are apprehended after the
separation. So after the official introduction of
two homes, you still have to know that until that,
the law of 2002 intervenes. The jurisprudence of the court of cassation
was hostile to the establishment of two homes. But two homes exist anyway. Why? Because there were those who agreed. And where through a joint petition
and the agreement which results in their contract, we manage to establish
for two homes. Today the judge may decide.
It’s complicated because he is there. So what I observed since 2002
is still an evolution. Now we have more or very few or
rarely two judges that are ideologically hostile to
double domicile. Yes it will take me to stop. Yes OK. More ideological resistance is established against double domicile. And I will conclude with that words. I think we arrive at a time,
or you have to change the terminology. That is to say, the facts made the
coparent anxious and worried and the other has domicile and access. In summary and in caricature:
there is a tenant and an owner. And it creates an imbalance. And I think it would be extremely
important and is already in agreements in certain cases,
to arrange two homes regardless of the time
the child passes from one side or the other. But it is always said in terms
of residence. That’s it. We continue this afternoon.
Thank you. We have a few minutes for questions. But primarily for journalists,
since we are on a press briefing. I represent the agency press Antenna. I have just a few accuracy issues initially
and subsequently the real issues. When talking about double domicile,
this is also known the same as two homes. In fact there is a differentiation. There is a difference because double domicile is simply the law or
is the address of the child. Today in the case of double domicile,
it has a main address. And a second address yes, but that is
not an administrative address. And that does not exist as
two homes. This is where the child lives. Which is not necessarily simply
administrative. The bill I introduced in 2007
was the start of two homes, which was amended in double domicile and what appeared to actually be
the way to get to go. Two homes means something more. Knowing that this is not necessarily
equal 50-50 two homes. Thank you, I only propose to ask my two
questions after the answers of those who want. It feels a bit like a crawl in front.
Really had nothing at all, so actually before there was just this story
of visiting rights. And then there is now two homes
that now maintains the double domicile. I really wonder what is in this framework.
It holds an obligation by the parents to live in the same city. Really a balanced logical perimeter
compared to the end story that one parent lives north of Paris and
the other in the south. For the child to stay in the same environment. That’s my first question. And given that I work for the
agency press Antenna, I am a little obliged to place things
in a more European context. I was wondering if it’s true that
this model of two homes anyway no matter if it
is with double domicile or not, is not much used in the south of Europe,
and in most Oriental countries? I wondered if you had any
comparative data? Is France also a model for other
countries in relation to that. The domicile of children and proximity of homes is one of the
obvious conditions for the establishment of
two homes. So living in the same street opposite
to each other is not necessary. But in any case, the child has to
go to the same school Should not be in a position to make an
hour of transport in the morning for this to be possible.
That actually is a condition. So then, on the second question
you ask .. Well, I can answer the second question. Because yesterday we had very
precise data from Spain. It is a country in southern Europe. We will have this afternoon also from Spain. We had this morning info from Portugal,
which shows in Spain a development of two homes arrangements in young couples families. This is what I explained earlier. That info together with the presentation of our
colleague José Manuel de Torres Perea yesterday is interesting whether the law
encourages double domicile arrangements Spain is a bit more complicated than ours because it can keep national
law and regional laws, they made a very accurate study,
region by region. When the law encourages double domicile
arrangements as a first option to consider parents dare ask these
for their children and certainly for themselves. And we will show roughly the same thing
this afternoon with the change of law which has taken place in Arizona,
just a few years we will have the evaluation results by William Fabricius
for the United States. Data, if you have data
on Greece I take too. We have unfortunately,
we have no data on Greece for now. But there are colleagues here from Greece
and they will be able to talk. I have to do some organization,
because of lunch time. It’s always heavy brought,
we’re just going to. So I have to conclude in a minute with
Philippe Latombe if he wishes. One second journalist questions? No one will conclude just in a minute
we’ll go for those who wish to photo shoot. And then you end up here at 13:15.
But precise 13:15 so to be able to hold the schedule. What we gave ourselves, leave it to
the people who honoured us by coming. But the honour to come from far and
with a candy timing, simply imagine very accurate weight,
will take a TGV to continue with his action. I think of Philippe Latombe.
In particular that is it. Yes thanks. To answer your question,
I think that today France is not not just an example. And that other European countries are
examples for France, which can then make that France is
an example for others. It’s a domino effect, but today
the situation is completely different from what we could live. In Belgium, where for ten years there has
been this evolution. The Nordic countries in Europe and actually will come down,
little by little. And the way I see it and it is
in this sense I’m trying to run things in France.
to be effective incentive and we can take example we can build on what
works in Northern Europe. And we do not go down.
Actually maybe a cultural question which, little by little, infuses and trendy if
we were to go down geographically to the Mediterranean basin. It is necessary, the law actually said,
that Mr. Gangreat requires that the law encourages a little more but to make a site. And lawmakers we must have elements. And I regret indeed as Mrs. Bartholomew,
the bill that was presented to us and is under discussion for three days only and a report of important experiential
expertise in this field did not precede. And we were only be stopped
on points of procedure. And that we do not listen enough
to the lifts from the field. That’s it. Thank you so much. Translation: Bert Kerkhof

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