The fathers have fought, the mothers are right 

Camilla Fossum Pettersen: Sabbatical sabotage. Norwegian fathers share their stories Aschehoug 

Togetherness Sabotage. Norwegian fathers share their stories
The book Samværs-sabotage can be recommended to anyone who is concerned about the children's best interests. 


Camilla Fossum Pettersen gives with the book Togetherness sabotage. Norwegian fathers share their stories a gloomy insight into what many fathers talk about in both open and closed web forums because they often fail to reach the justice system and public offices in child distribution cases. The author has interviewed fathers who have been fighting for years with both the mothers of their children and with the system to establish decent living arrangements. She is clear from her point of view, and the book can at times seem conspiratorial with her macabre stories about fathers 'lack of legal certainty and mothers' methods of co-existence sabotage. But Fossum Pettersen has obtained thorough background information from a broad field of expertise that deals with the problem on a daily basis and is witness to abuse of our welfare and justice system. A mother can presently make false accusations that a father is violent and the father can be cleansed in court without having any legal consequences for the mother.

Myth Crushing. We hear the stories of six fathers, a young man with divorced parents, a grandmother and the new cohabitant of a father. Fossum Pettersen sometimes uses literary tools to create authenticity. This works against its purpose and interferes with the author's and interviewee's important messages and points. (Unfortunately, the practice is part of a trend among the publishers who are demanding documentary approach to fiction, with the result that academic writers often resort to worn-out literary approaches.)

In Denmark, parental hostility can be punished.

The best parties are where Fossum Pettersen describes the informant's situation factually and neutrally, and then put it in the context of case law, research and statements from a wide number of actors in the field. In comments on each case and in a thorough afterword it is explained, among other things, Solveig Hornes bill from 2015 and further proceedings, put in the context of practices in other countries. For example, in Denmark, parental hostility can be punished. The content of conflicting research reports is outlined. Myths about togetherness that underlie much of today's counseling, mediation, and jurisprudence are echoed in. Reference is made to research that offers alternatives to ingrained truths, such as that if there is conflict between mother and father, it is better to have one firm residency. Recent research, on the contrary, highlights that good contact and much contact with both parents can make up for such conflicts.

Gathering threads. Fossum Pettersen highlights taboo relationships between skepticism about shared housing and benefits from the Nav system and child support that is triggered only when the child has not shared housing. She also questions how experts are chosen and the role of lawyers in conflicts of association. If I have to object to the afterword, it must be the lack of middle titles so that I could more easily find specific information. For togetherness Sabotage is not only an important and timely post in an ongoing debate, it is also an impressive piece of work where many threads from a complex subject area are gathered. Therefore, it can be recommended to anyone who is concerned about the children's best interests.

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