Promote shared parenting as norm in divorce cases

Professor Richard Warshak illuminated and clarified that high quality relationships with both parents are important for children and give them the best chance to succeed (Shared parenting beneficial for children despite conflict; April 2).

This is even more so for children caught in their parents' divorce.

Children rightly deserve, and should never be denied, the love and guidance of both parents.

There should be no excuse for denying any child this basic right.

Mr Nicholas Tan's experience of being separated from his father by order of the court (Review how custody of kids is granted in divorce cases; March 4), and earlier reports of serious sexual abuse suffered by the children from "single parent" homes, should never have happened.

The fact that such abhorrent abuses took place in Singapore reflects something of a dysfunction or problem in our family justice system.

Denying children a quality and lasting relationship with both parents, except in the case of severe abuse or neglect, can be considered parental alienation, which has deep and lasting adverse consequences for children.

It is time our family justice system recognises the serious consequences of parental alienation and takes the necessary steps to correct the situation - and to promote shared parenting as the norm for children caught in divorce.

Loo Chee Siang