Those of us who live in British Columbia have noticed a shift in the rulings of the courts over the past decade or so. It used to be that if parents separated, the children would end up spending the bulk of the time living with their moms. However, in British Columbia now, the starting assumption of judges is that parents will share custody 50/50 after separation. Generally, this will only be altered if one of the parents has been found by the police, or the Ministry of Children and Families, to have physically or sexually abused one of the children.None of the other forms of abuse are considered (emotional, psychological, spiritual). And if only the mother has witnessed the physical abuse, her testimony is not considered sufficient.
This is supposedly done in the name of fairness; the idea being that it is most fair to the mom and the dad if they both have equal time with the children. (Many also believe this is beneficial to the child even though most Developmental Psychologists argue that moving constantly from home to home is detrimental to children.)
I think it is important that we re-examine what we mean by “fair”. It seems to me that it would be fair to the child if the care the child received before separation remained the same, as much as possible, after separation. That would mean, whoever the primary care-giver was before separation would be the primary care-giver after separation. In the case of abuse, the child would see their dad but would live with their moms and benefit from all that that security affords them.