Newer trends in family custody court processes in Croatia show a slight increase in shared legal and physical custody of children among separated parents, yet still the majority of children stay primariliy with their mothers. Shared residence for children is a relatively new phenomenon in Croatia, and as such has not been widely analyzed. Promoting shared residential custody is motivated by the best interest of the child, as well as its need of maintaining a close relationship and as much contact as possible with both parents after a divorce or a dissolution of a non-marital union. It is believed that shared custody and care of a child has a lot of benefits for children and very little downsides. Still, this is a largely unacknowledged and unpreferred practice in Croatian courts. In this context, we will explore the occurence of alienating behaviors of parents towards children in these circumstances. Parental alienation in general is a poorly acknowledged and researched form of family violence in Croatia. This article will describe specific elements of parental alienation as a form of abusive and aggressive behaviour, how it is manifested and what consequences it has on a child and family dynamics. Also, we will describe the continuum of alienating behaviors and how to distinguish them from other specific behaviors that can occur in high conflict divorces. In recent years Croatian family practitioners, clinicians, social workers and other experts working with disrupted families have gained more knowledge of these problematic behaviors. Considering that alienating behaviors usually occur in single-custodial situations, where one parent is in a position of power, it is believed that distribution of power evenly among both parents in a shared residential custody situation helps prevent occurrence of such behaviors. Hence, some experts and parent associations heavily promote the benefits of shared parenting. Finally, we will explore what options are there to raise more awareness of parental alienation as a form of family violence in Croatia, to educate practitioners working with families and therefore provide support for families facing this form of family violence.
The intervention at Turning Points for Families to heal a damaged or severed parent-child relationship relies heavily on the co-therapist—that co-therapist being the child’s powerful instinctual need for a parent. According Salvador Minuchin’s structural family therapy model, people in intimate relationships heal each other; and I have concluded that the parent-child relationship is the most powerful, the most enduring, and the most impactful—at least for the child.
By working with the co-therapist named the “instinct for survival,” the Turning Points intervention has proven equally successful using video conference technology during COVID—just as long as the parent and child are physically together.
This presentation will provide the nuts and bolts of the successful therapy model at Turning Points for Families.
36% of parents separate before children reach 16 years of age in the UK. Lifestyles and roles in the family have changed massively since the 1950s, but policies have not kept pace. This presentation assesses the lack of joined-up policy making across different parts of government and the counter-productive and unintended consequences that many policies produce, and makes a case for an over-arching Strategy for Separated Families with conflict reduction and parental involvement at the heart. In additi0on, I will discuss the need for a speeding up of family justice through an Early Intervention Pathway and recommend changes to the way that domestic abuse is addressed in the family courts. The issues affecting children of separated families demand an evidence-based, urgent public health approach, with a focus on improving children’s wellbeing.
Shared parenting is new concept in Iran. In order to design a local model for shared parenting, we need to know more about these challenges in Iran.
Legal Challenges: Shared parenting is not defined in Iran's Family Protection Law and there is no legal process for the determination of shared parenting. Although judges refer couples who request divorce to counsellors, there is no process for judges to refer parents to mediators to facilitate the development of shared parenting plans.
Cultural obstacles: Although a co-parental relationship is essential for shared parenting, culturally in Iran, divorce legally severs relationships between separated partners, and there is little or no encouragement of continuing communication between the parents. Ex-spousal relationships are especially discouraged when one or both of the parents have remarried.
Social support: There are no formal or informal social supports for divorcing parents in Iran. Shared parenting requires a great deal of effort and coordination to actualize, and to be successful, and parents require intensive support services.
Divorce reasons: Substance use is one of the most important precipitators of divorce in Iran. Substance use profoundly affects the ability to effectively parent a child. Couples’ failure in their marital relationship is another reason for divorce. In successful shared parenting arrangements, divorced parents should be able to co-operate to some degree, and establish a new type of relationship with each other, focused on what is best for their children. Divorced parents' weak interpersonal skills could threaten shared parenting processes.
Although providing mediation services for divorced parents in child and family protection organizations is necessary, there are no national guidelines in place for shared parenting mediation in Iran, and the field is very much in its infancy. Thew development of local models for shared parenting and mediation guidelines should address all of the challenges mentioned above.