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October 29, 2018

October Newsletter: NPO Announces 6 New Affiliates

 

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October 29, 2018

 


National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

 

NPO announces addition of 6 new state affiliates

 

 

We are excited to welcome new state affiliate chapters in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York, adding to the organization’s already robust network of shared parenting activists across the country. This gives us 15 state affiliates throughout the U.S. as we look to build on recent legislative reform passed in Kentucky and Virginia that promotes shared parenting.

 

Janet Mercurio (California), Tina Lia (Hawaii), Jerry Papin (Idaho), William Cozzi (Illinois), Brian Ulrich (Minnesota) and Josh Blumenthal (New York) will be the new affiliate chairs in their respective states.

 

READ MORE 

 

 

 

Poll: Overwhelming majority of Ohio voters support concept of shared parenting

 

 

Recently, Public Policy Polling questioned 556 voters about shared parenting — as close to equal time with both fit and willing parents in instances of divorce or separation. This showed overwhelming support for shared parenting outcomes, backing up a recent National Parents Organization (NPO) study that concluded changes could be made to many default plans throughout the state.

 

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NPO’s Paasch featured in Virginian Pilot

 

“The National Parents Organization applauds the progress in Arizona to do what’s best for children and families. The results of the state’s 2018 survey should allow leaders in other states, such as Virginia, to feel comfortable adopting similar changes.”

 

READ MORE

 

 

Draft legislation in Italy promotes enforcing “perfect co-parenting”

 

Italy’s governing coalition is looking to enforce what it describes as “perfect co-parenting.” Children of divorced couples would spend equal time living with each parent — and each parent would pay for the children’s needs when taking care of them.

 

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NPO letter to the editor in Columbus Dispatch

 

“The women leaders of NPO want to make clear that this issue is not “boys vs. girls” or “moms vs. dads.” To try to cast it as a skirmish in the gender wars is to diminish its significance and ultimately hurts children, which no reasonable person would want.”

 

READ MORE 

 

 

NPO is a non-profit organization that relies on individual donations from readers like you. Please help us continue our work to protect children by making a contribution today. All donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

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September 26, 2018

We Can Make a Difference!

 

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September 26, 2018

 


National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

 

We Can Make a Difference!

 

 

 

by Donald C. Hubin, Ph.D.

 

 

It’s easy to get discouraged. Anyone who’s been working to improve the lives of our children by promoting shared physical custody of children, as I have for the last 25 years, has felt frustration at the slow pace of progress. But we are making progress. We are making a difference.

 

There are, of course, recent NPO successes in a number of states, including the stunning victory in Kentucky. But in far too  many states, including my home state of Ohio, legislative progress has been frustratingly slow.

 

But there are, as they say, many ways to skin a cat. And in Ohio, we decided to pursue non-legislative reforms, as well as legislative reforms, to promote shared parenting. And our efforts are beginning to bear fruit.

 

Through the first half of this year, my colleagues Frank Glandorf and Julie Carpenter-Hubin and I have undertaken a thorough review of the parenting time rules that each of Ohio’s 88 counties rely on to set post-divorce parenting schedules when parents cannot agree to a different schedule. This resulted in the NPO Ohio Parenting Time Report and the interactive, Internet map displaying the NPO grades for each county and the data on which the grades are based.

 

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Ohio counties have a very outdated and harmful “every other weekend and one evening a week” parenting schedule for the non-residential parent. Only three counties’ parenting time rules allow the children equal, or nearly equal, time with each of their parents.

 

We began this project with the hope that our report would motivate Ohio county domestic relations courts to review and revise their rules. It was hope; not a certainty. We weren’t sure what response to expect.

 

Even as we prepared the report, we saw some small but welcome effects. In reviewing our data, one county protested that we had falsely alleged that it used ‘visitation’ language to refer to time the children spend with their non-residential parent. We pointed out to them 13 times in their rule when they referred to this time as ‘visitation’. They responded by revising their rule to remove this inaccurate and offensive way of talking.

 

That’s language; it’s important, but it’s not time with the children. But our report has produced more tangible results, too.

 

One Ohio county, Van Wert, received an ‘F’ in our study. Not only did it have a very bad parenting schedule, it was the only county to use explicitly gendered language in its rule, saying that “Father shall have visitation …”

 

While one might expect those in the Van Wert court to be defensive or dismissive of our report, this wasn’t the case. Instead, the Van Wert Magistrate Joseph Quatam was grateful for the report and announced plans to re-write their rules.

 

Two other Ohio county courts have contacted me directly indicating their intention to review and update their rules in response to the NPO report. One specifically asked for NPO to review their proposed new rule when it is drafted and provide them with feedback.

 

This is a gratifying response. We hope that many more Ohio courts will use the NPO report as an opportunity to change their parenting time rules in ways that benefit children. And there is reason to be hopeful. The Ohio Supreme Court has contacted me asking to discuss these matters with NPO more fully.

 

But it’s important to remember that even if this report were to prompt change in only one county in Ohio, that would benefit hundreds of families. Children in those families would not be subject, by default, to a parentectomy—the removal of one parent from a full parental role.

 

 

Don Hubin is the Director for the Center for Ethics and Human Values at the Ohio State University. He is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at National Parents Organization and the Chair of the Ohio Affiliate.

 

 

 

 

NPO is a non-profit organization that relies on individual donations from readers like you. Please help us continue our work to protect children by making a contribution today. All donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

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August 30, 2018

National Parents Organization Family Court Study Reveals Severe Inequity in Parenting Plans


 

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August 30, 2018

 


National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

 

National Parents Organization Ohio Family Court Study Reveals Severe Inequity in Parenting Plans

 

 

 

by Donald C. Hubin, Ph.D.

 

 

National Parents Organization has completed a study—the first of its kind—of the parenting time guidelines of each of Ohio’s 88 county courts of domestic relations. These guidelines are intended to guide divorcing parents in setting a parenting time schedule for their children and, often, are explicitly presented as default schedules, “for parents who cannot agree otherwise.” Because these guideline schedules have a significant effect on the schedules parents agree on and those imposed when parents do not agree, they are important factors in shaping the actual parenting of children of divorced parents.

 

A large and compelling body of recent scientific research shows that children of separated parents benefit from substantially equal parenting time with each parent. (See “NPO Shared Parenting Research Resources” for citations and links.) This means that the defaults that courts set in place are important in promoting the best interest of children. And, importantly, the research established that this is true even for infants and toddlers and even when parents are in (non-violent) high-conflict relationships.

 

NPO’s study focused on “ordinary parenting time”, meaning non-holiday/non-vacation time. This is time that’s vital to establishing a true parent/child relationship. Furthermore, it was restricted to the guidelines that courts apply to parents living in close proximity, based on the individual court’s definition of that term.

 

The results of NPO’s study, reported in the “NPO Ohio Parenting Time Report” are shocking! Ohio Counties vary widely—indeed, wildly—in their parenting time guidelines.

 

  • Sixty-four of Ohio’s 88 counties have a parenting schedule that allows the children only two overnights and 60 hours or less with one of their parents in a two-week period. This means that the children are with their non-residential parent less than 20% of the ordinary parenting time. None of these counties’ schedules provide for the children to be with the non-residential parent on a school night. (One other Ohio county provides a schedule only slightly enhanced from this outdated model, by adding one additional overnight with the non-residential parent in a two-week period. This still accords the children just 20% of ordinary parenting time with one of their parents.)
  • Thirteen Ohio counties provide default schedules that allow the children 4-5 overnights with the non-residential parent and substantially more time with the non-residential parent, between 25% and 30%.
  • Only three Ohio counties provide default schedules that allow the children equal, or nearly equal, time with each parent.

 

The wide variation, alone, undermines any claim to Ohio counties’ parenting time schedules being based on research about what parenting arrangements promote child wellbeing. It is just not believable that, for children in Sandyville, Ohio (Tuscarawas County), it is presumptively in their best interest to be with their separated parents equal amounts of time but for children in Magnolia, Ohio (Carroll County)—just four miles away—it is presumptively in their best interest to see one of their parents only every 12 days, and then only for two days.

Ohio counties are also divided over whether children’s interests are served by parenting time guidelines that are age-sensitive or not. Forty-one counties have age-sensitive schedules, though some are minimally sensitive to children’s ages; forty-seven counties impose the same schedules on children of all ages, from birth to 18 years.

 

Surprisingly, 39 Ohio counties still use the outdated language of ‘visitation’ to talk about all of the time that the children are in the care and physical custody of one of their parents.

 

Using county population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, NPO estimated that 60% of Ohio families are subjected to parenting time guidelines that allow children just two overnights in a two week period with one of their parents. Only 2% of Ohio families reside in counties whose guidelines allow children equal, or nearly equal, time with both of their fit and loving parents.

 

Ohio courts are directed to make decisions about parenting time in the best interest of the children. NPO’s study demonstrates that most Ohio domestic relations courts do not have parenting time guidelines that research shows are in children’s best interest. 

 

Don Hubin is the Director for the Center for Ethics and Human Values at the Ohio State University. He is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at National Parents Organization and the Chair of the Ohio Affiliate.

 

 

 

 

NPO is a non-profit organization that relies on individual donations from readers like you. Please help us continue our work to protect children by making a contribution today. All donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

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Parents@NationalParentsOrganization.org

 

 

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July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

 

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July 27, 2018

 


National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

 

This week’s newsletter will provide a review and critique of Ohio HB 366 which enacts multiple changes to the state’s child support legislation, including creating a self-sufficiency reserve for payors, lowering child support obligations for low-income earners, and capping a payors’ responsibility to pay for child care expenses.  Despite these welcomed changes, however, the new bill presents some concerns.   

 

In this issue, Board Member and OH State Affiliate Chair of NPO, Dr. Donald C. Hubin, analyzes the good, bad and ugly sides of HB 366. (Also, for a brief summary of the Bill, please see the article re-posted from the Toledo Blade earlier this week on NPO’s website.) 

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Ohio’s New Child Support Law

 

 

By Donald C. Hubin, Ph.D., Chair, Ohio Executive Committee and Member, National Board of Directors

 

 

Ohio has recently enacted into law the most extensive changes in its child support laws in over a quarter of a century. Ohio news media is filled with stories highlighting the changes. As the leader of the Ohio Chapter of NPO, a member of the 2005 Ohio Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee, and a member of the 2001 Ohio Child Support Shareholders Committee, I have had more than a passing interest in this legislation.

 

From the time the legislation was first introduced in the form of Senate Bill 125, and throughout the legislative review process, Ohio NPO has analyzed the legislation, pointed out both positive and negative features of it, and taken a stand on its passage. For details of NPO’s position on this legislation, see the links at the bottom of this post. Here, I want to highlight just a few of the changes to Ohio child support laws that are coming and why NPO gives the legislation a very mixed review.

 

The Good

 

First, this new legislation for the first time creates an appropriate self-sufficiency reserve, which attempts to ensure that child support obligations do not make it impossible for low-income obligors to support themselves. Imposing impossible child support obligations on parents does not benefit children; instead, it results in obligors defaulting on their child support obligations and not providing any support for their children. NPO has long supported reasonable self-support reserves. Finally, Ohio’s Office of Child Support and Ohio’s legislature have recognized that imposing impossible child support obligations is short-sighted and counter-productive.

 

Second, and relatedly, the new legislation create more reasonable child support obligations for those who are lower-income but above the point at which the self-sufficiency reserve kicks in. This, too, is a welcome change.

 

Finally, the bill puts a cap on an obligor’s responsibility to pay for child care, preventing the custodial parent from selecting child care that is far above the median cost and imposing these excessive costs on the child support obligor.

 

The Bad

 

Not surprisingly the new legislation raises the child support tables. Some people, apparently even some legislators, seem to believe that child support tables should rise with inflation. We frequently hear claims like: “The child support tables in Ohio haven’t been raised since 1992 and you know how much more it costs to raise a child now than it did then.” This is poppycock! The child support tables are based on the parents’ income. When inflation is high, incomes and expenses rise and parents who are earning more will pay more without the tables rising. Imagine how far someone would get with the argument that income tax tables have to be raised to reflect the increased cost of running the government!

 

The increases in the tables are modest compared to those recommended by the Office of Child Support in previous years. But they will result in most moderate- and higher-income child support obligors paying more.

 

The new legislation does, for the first time, recognize the direct child expenses of non-residential parents with a parenting time adjustment. Previously, 100% of the combined child support obligation was placed in the residential parent’s household. This new adjustment is intended to reduce the obligor’s child support obligation to reflect their direct expenses on the children.

 

Because NPO advocates for shared parenting and parenting time adjustments promote shared parenting, one might expect to see this important element of the bill under “The Good” heading. Unfortunately, the legislature has chosen to enact a version of a parenting time adjustment that is inadequate and unfair. It’s inadequate because it explicitly refuses to recognize many of the expenses that non-residential parents have on the children. The food they provide while the children are in their care counts, but the extra room in their house, the extra furniture, toys, computer for homework, and so forth, do not count. It’s unfair because it treats all of the child support recipient’s expenses on children as a shared obligation while treating the most significant direct child-related expenses of the obligor as solely that parent’s responsibility.

 

Combined with the increases in the child support tables, the parenting time adjustment will not result in lower child support payments for many parents, even those with very significant direct expenses on their children. So, while parenting time adjustments, in general, are a good thing, the parenting time adjustment in Ohio’s new legislation is not!

 

In fact, the new legislation contains not just one, but two, parenting time adjustments: one to handle “standard parenting time” and one that kicks in when obligors have the children in their care at least 147 overnights (approximately 40% of the overnights) per year. The standard parenting time adjustment is inadequate; the extended parenting time adjustment is vague and misleading. It simply directs the court to “consider a substantial deviation” in child support when the obligor has the children at least 147 overnights per year and, if the court chooses not to grant such a deviation, to explain why it did not. What it doesn’t do is define ‘substantial deviation’. The legislators left it to the judges to determine what that was, even though the judges explicitly asked the legislators to give more guidance on this.

 

Well-designed parenting time adjustments kick in gradually, avoiding “cliff-effects”. As you might suspect from what has already been said, Ohio’s legislation is not well designed. Obligors who have their children for fewer than 90 overnights a year, are not entitled to the standard parenting time adjustment; those with more overnights are. Obligors with fewer than 147 overnights per year are not entitled to special consideration of a “substantial deviation”; those with more are. If you want a recipe for lawyers to fight hard over insignificant differences in parenting time, you could hardly do better than this. When presented with a proposed schedule, good attorneys advocating for their client’s interests will, first of all, count the overnights. And, courts will be confronted with arguments over parenting schedules that are very similar except that one is slightly over the threshold and the other is slightly below it..

 

The Ugly

 

Okay, “The Bad” was pretty ugly. But there’s worse. Here’s how the new legislation calculates the “standard parenting time adjustment”. It assumes that children spend 30% of their time with the obligor parent. This is fictitious; county parenting time rules vary widely. Then, it estimates that 35% of the expenses of raising a child “travel with the child”. These are the only expenses of the obligor parent it considers relevant. It multiples 35% by 30% and gets 10.5%, which is rounds down to 10%. So, it concludes that a 10% reduction in child support is appropriate for standard parenting time.

 

We’ve already seen why this handles parents’ expenses unfairly–all expenses of the child support recipient are treated as shared expenses, while most of the expenses of the obligor are treated as solely the responsibility of that parent. But it gets worse. Even following this (flawed) methodology, the reduction should be 10% of the combined child support obligation–the obligation of the mother and the father combined. Calculating it as a percentage of only the obligor’s portion of the child support obligation is a blatant mathematical error.

The error was pointed out repeatedly by NPO during the legislative hearings. Indeed, the very reports produced by the Office of Child Support in 2009, 2013, and 2017 all said that the adjustment should be based on the combined obligation of the two parents. But, in introducing and defending the legislation, the Office of Child Support based the calculation on just the obligors portion of the child support obligation.

 

When confronted with this deviation from its own methodology and previous recommendations, the only response from the Ohio Office of Child Support offered was to say that they felt that calculating it based on the combined obligation would be too much of a downward adjustment. One wonders what the point is of having a methodology and rationale in the first place if, in the end, the legislation will be based on what simply “feels right” to the bureaucrats in the Office of Child Support.

 

The Bottom Line

 

This new legislation will help some low-income non-residential parents. And, it’s likely to benefit their children because it’s likely to promote more compliance with child support obligations for these parents because it’s more realistic about what they can pay. It will be harmful to middle- and upper-income non-residential parents–especially those who are highly involved in their children’s lives and incur significant direct expenses on the children. And, by harming them financially, it will harm their children.

 

Perhaps the worst consequence of the passage of this legislation is that it will, in the minds of our legislators, take the parenting time adjustment issue off the table. By instituting a bad parenting time adjustment, it will undermine efforts to create an appropriate and fair parenting adjustment for the foreseeable future.

 

Links to detailed NPO comments on Ohio Senate Bill 125, as introduced, which is substantially similar to its companion bill in the Ohio House HB 366 and the final Ohio child support legislation signed into law by Governor Kasich in June of 2018:

 

●      National Parents Organization Response to SB 125

●      National Parents Organization Proposed Amendments to SB 125

●      National Parents Organization Written Testimony Opposing SB 125

●      National Parents Organization Oral Testimony Opposing SB 125

 

Don Hubin is the Director for the Center for Ethics and Human Values at the Ohio State University. He is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at National Parents Organization and the Chair of the Ohio Affiliate.

 

 

 

 

NPO is a non-profit organization that relies on individual donations from readers like you. Please help us continue our work to protect children by making a contribution today. All donations are tax deductible.

 

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National Parents Organization

PO BOX 590548
Boston, Massachusetts 02459
(617) 542-9300

 

www.NationalParentsOrganization.org


Parents@NationalParentsOrganization.org

 

 

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June 29, 2018

NPO Newsletter: Independence Day Edition

 

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June 29, 2018

 


National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

 

On July 4th, Don’t Forget the Parenting Challenges of Military Personnel During Holiday Celebrations

By ROB HOLDSWORTH

 

 

 

As the summer rolls on to July, American thoughts traditionally turn toward celebration of our original 13 colonies’ Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. 

 

Historically, our country has observed the Fourth of July with patriotic displays praising our nation’s heritage, laws, history, society and people. Celebrations often include praise for the efforts of service members throughout American history as well as those engaged in current operations in support of U.S. national security and public safety. A sad consequence that is endured with alarming frequency by our nation’s military and first responder communities is to find that their service is often used against them during separation or divorce proceedings, resulting in the imposition of onerous parenting plans in family court. 

 

Military and First Response personnel often endure long periods of duty under dangerous and stressful conditions. Adversarial co-parents find these job requirements to be fertile ground for justifying the loss of parental rights by our nation’s emergency response personnel. 

Kentucky’s recent House Bill 528, which will create the nation’s first state law presuming 50/50 shared parenting when it goes into effect this month, includes a lesser known provision to ensure that any court-ordered temporary modification of a child custody decree, based in whole or in part on the active duty of a parent as a member of the Armed Forces deployed outside the US or federal active duty of a parent as a member of a state National Guard or a Reserve component shall be temporary and shall revert back to the previous permanent child custody decree at the end of the deployment or the federal active duty, as appropriate. 

This is welcome news for the children of service members to help ensure that one parent’s temporary duty doesn’t result in the permanent loss of parenting time; however, it doesn’t go far enough to protect the parental relationships of children blessed with parents engaged in full-time public service.

 

Another consequence of military and first response service is powerful mental and emotional stress that frequently requires treatment. In family court, a public servant who has sought therapy for this sort of stress is penalized by opposing parties who seek to use the after-effects of their service as justification to limit parenting time. The same ex-partners who usually celebrated their ex’s service and profited from the increased pay and benefits accruing to those service members who perform extra duty, too often use the foreseeable consequences of that service to assert increased control that degrades their children’s relationships with their service member parent. 

 

While National Guard, Reserve and first responder personnel usually live in closer proximity to their former partners, active duty military personnel are often “stranded” as they finish their service contracts at units and bases far from their original home of record after former partners have taken the children and returned to homes across the country and occasionally overseas. As a matter of public policy, this special population of alienated parents and children needs enhanced protections at the federal level due to the inability of far-flung state courts to adequately address the unique circumstances faced by these children and their parents.

July is thus an especially fitting month for shared parenting advocates in the United States to reflect on the National Parents Organization’s mission to “improve the lives of children and strengthen society by protecting every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce … seek(ing) better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.”

 

As we celebrate our nation, its service personnel, and American parents this July, it’s vital that shared parenting advocates focus their legislative efforts on these special classes of children and their parents in order to ensure that those who serve our communities and our nation don’t have to choose between continued service and their responsibilities as parents.

 

Rob Holdsworth is the Kentucky Legislative Liaison for The Father’s Rights Movement and a retired veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rob is a friend to and supporter of NPO.  He played a central role in the NPO-KY Chapter’s passage of HB 528 and ensuring that critical language protecting the parental rights of military and service personnel was included in the Bill.

 

 

 

 

Remembering the Parental Rights of Armed Service Members Stationed Abroad

 

By ROBERT FRANKLIN, J.D.

 

With Independence Day at hand, it’s important to consider the issues that face our military service members regarding divorce and child custody.  Put simply, when a member of our armed services is stationed abroad, his/her ability to defend or even take part in such a case can be severely limited.  Existing protections for those service members are insufficient to avoid, in some cases, quite serious miscarriages of justice.

When a parent joins the armed forces, he/she is required to establish a parenting plan that takes effect in the event that person is deployed overseas.  The plan identifies who is to be the child’s primary caregiver and also names backup caregivers in the event the primary one is unable to provide care for the child.

 

Deployments abroad can last for months or even years.  Stateside, relationships subject to such lengthy separations can attenuate and breakdown.  Divorce can be the result and child custody become an important issue between the spouses.  For anyone, dealing with those issues can be traumatic; for the deployed service member, doing so at a distance of thousands of miles only makes a bad situation worse.  If the member is deployed to a war zone, the stress of combat and the threat to the life and physical well-being of the member adds another level of trauma to his/her divorce case back home.

 

Now, it is the stated policy of this country and our courts that those who have “dropped their affairs to answer their country’s call” (Le Maistre v. Leffers, 333 U.S. 1, 6 (1948)) shouldn’t be penalized back home for doing so.  Accordingly, federal law provides certain protections for service members in an array of civil matters, including divorce and child custody.  Those protections come in the form of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C., § 3901-4043 (SCRA) that covers many different civil actions such as mortgage foreclosures, interest rates on loans, residential lease terminations and the like.

 

Supposedly, the SCRA requires that any child custody arrangement in effect at the time the service member was deployed should return to effect once he/she returns home.  So, during deployment, temporary arrangements may be made for the care and custody of the service member’s child, but, once the member returns, that temporary arrangement dissolves and the previous one returns to effect.  Again, public policy holds that no member of the military should be penalized for serving his/her country.

 

I say “supposedly” because the practice in state family courts often deviates from the theory embodied in the SCRA.  That deviation typically stems from the same magic words we see so often in child custody cases – “the best interests of the child.”  The SCRA states that the status quo ante the deployment should return to effect once the service member returns home unless the best interests of the child dictate otherwise.

What that often means in practice is that the parent who’s remained at home caring for the child has a marked advantage over the deployed parent when it comes to custody and parenting time decisions by a state court judge.  After all, so the reasoning goes, the service member may not have seen the child except possibly by Skype, for as long as two years, so why should he/she have equal parenting time with the parent who’s stayed behind, changing diapers, feeding, reading to the child, etc.?

 

As elsewhere, the child’s “best interests” are often interpreted to mean marginalizing a fit, loving parent.  That federal law and policy argue for the parental rights of the service member makes little difference to family court judges who often aren’t educated in the social science on the very matter on which turns every decision about custody and parenting time, i.e. the child’s best interests.

 

Fit, loving parents should never be marginalized in the lives of their children.  Using a military deployment to do so not only harms children and the parents who serve their country abroad, but thwarts the clear spirit of the SCRA as well. 

The burden of proof should be changed.  The service member should not be required to demonstrate that his/her continued relationship with the child promotes the child’s best interests.  The parent seeking to reduce or eliminate the parent-child relationship of the service member should be required to demonstrate that such a relationship would harm the child’s interests.

 

On this Independence Day, let’s remember the members of our armed services and resolve to make the SCRA a real protection for the parental rights of service members stationed abroad.

 

Robert Franklin, J.D. is a member of the Board of Directors of National Parents Organization.  Robert is an attorney, writer and frequent contributor to the NPO blog. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NPO is a non-profit organization that relies on individual donations from readers like you. Please help us continue our work to protect children by making a contribution today. All donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

Like and follow us:                  

About Us

 

Mission

 

Vision

 

National Parents Organization

PO BOX 590548
Boston, Massachusetts 02459
(617) 542-9300

 

www.NationalParentsOrganization.org


Parents@NationalParentsOrganization.org

 

Your shopping matters! Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/04-3409728″ and

Amazon donates to National Parents Organization

 

 

This email contains a promotional message from the non-profit organization National Parents Organization.

©2018. National Parents Organization. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Newsletter

Father’s Day Issue: NPO Celebrates Shared Parenting Successes

June 13, 2018

 

Click Here if You Are Having Trouble Reading This Email

Be sure to add NationalParentsOrganization.org to your contacts so our emails get to your inbox.

June 13, 2018

 


National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

 

NPO Makes Huge Gains Toward Eliminating Fatherlessness

 

By Petra H. Maxwell, Esq., National Executive Director, NPO

 

As Father’s Day approaches, National Parents Organization wishes to celebrate fathers everywhere. In keeping with our mission, though, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate all parents.

 

This month, we have much cause for celebration here at NPO.  We’ve made significant progress in reshaping the family court system to promote shared parenting and to eliminate fatherlessness.  Four of our Affiliate Chapters introduced shared-parenting legislation last month (see side-bar for details).  Kentucky and Virginia succeeded in passing groundbreaking legislation in their States supportive of shared parenting after divorce, which is great news – both for fathers and mothers.  But it’s especially good for their children. For the first time in these two states, judges will be required to consider shared parenting for a divorcing family without immediately resorting to the antiquated concept of sole custody.  We are thrilled to offer this good news to families everywhere, just days before Father’s Day. 

 

These law changes are in line with child development research. For instance, a study published in January by Linda Nielsen, a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University, analyzed about 60 international scientific studies spanning several decades. It concluded that shared parenting is best for children on multiple measures when parents divorce or separate.  For example, the studies noted that children who do not have the benefit of regular access to both parents suffer from numerous psycho-social maladies:

    · 85% of children exhibited behavioral disorders

    · 70% increased rate of teen suicides

    · of the juveniles in state-operated institutions, 70% reported having no contact with their          fathers

    · among high school drop-outs, 71% reported having had no access to one of their parents

    · 75% of the children in chemical abuse centers reported lack of regular contact with one            parent

    · 85% of those in prison reportedly came from a single parent household with no regular              contact with a father or mother

Here’s what I’m sure we can all agree on: Shared parenting among fit parents is best for kids.  And while we’ve been making great progress toward improving the lives of children after their parents separate or divorce, much work remains to be done. With all of this in mind, this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate dads – and then let’s all do our part to support the work of the National Parents Organization so we can continue to help even more children: You can contribute to our organization by using the Donate button in this issue; contact your State Affiliate Chapter and volunteer; or just simply call your legislator and tell him or her that your vote depends on their support of shared-parenting.    

 

Happy Father’s Parent’s Day!

 

 

 

National Parents Organization Passes Landmark Shared Parenting Law in Kentucky!

 

Thanks to Kentucky legislators and Gov. Bevin, Kentucky now leads the nation in protecting children’s best interests when parents divorce or separate. The historic moment arrived on Thursday, April 26, when Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB528, a bill stating equal parenting time is best for children.

 

“April 26 goes down in history as the day Kentucky became the first true shared parenting state in the United States. Kentucky, more than any other state, can now say it does everything it can to give children two loving parents after divorce – just as our children deserve,” said Matt Hale, Chair of National Parents Organization in Kentucky, who led the reform effort for five years. “Research overwhelmingly shows children want and need both parents after separation. Our state lawmakers responded by aligning state laws with the research. This represents a common sense yet unprecedented move. Our lawmakers and primary sponsors Jason Petrie and Kevin Bratcher should be commended.”

 

The law passed the Kentucky House and Senate before Gov. Bevin signed it into law on April 26th.

 

 

 

 

Virginia Makes Family Court Reform History: Governor Northam Moves Shared Parenting Bill Into Law

National Parents Organization is excited to announce another historic event. On May 19, 2018 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam moved a bill into law that opens the door to a more robust shared parenting law in the future. Both the House and Senate unanimously passed House Bill 1351, which is set to become law on July 1, 2018. Importantly, Virginia’s bill leaves in place the same provisions that account for histories of domestic violence or other abuse.  Delegate Glenn Davis, R-House District 84, sponsored the bill (HB 1351).

“We couldn’t be more thrilled for the families of Virginia. We want to thank our legislators, especially Delegate Glenn Davis whose collaborative leadership is unmatched, and Governor Northam for acting unanimously on the overwhelming research that shows children do best when they spend significant time with both of their loving parents,” said Christian Paasch, Chair of National Parents Organization of Virginia. “I am proud to now be able to say that the Commonwealth has taken a first step to align its child custody laws with decades of child development research.  We still have work to do, but we are heartened by the passing of HB 1351.”

As The Washington Post reported, more than 20 states have recently considered legislation supportive of shared parenting – a flexible, collaborative, and safe child custody arrangement that seeks to maximize a child’s time with each parent. Virginia’s passage of HB 1351 comes on the heels of Kentucky signing a much stronger, rebuttable presumption of shared parenting into law last month.

Virginia’s new law now requires the court to formally consider joint/shared custody on par with sole custody.  While some might argue that Virginia’s statutes already allow for such a consideration, the truth is that approximately 85% of the time, sole or primary custody is still awarded.  Unfortunately, children in sole custody arrangements are exposed to a multitude of risks, such as teen suicide, school dropouts, and behavioral disorders.  Approximately 60 research studies from numerous states and countries and spanning several decades have shown that on every metric of well-being, children do better in shared parenting situations than in sole custody situations.

A trend toward shared parenting has gained steam in recent years. It has been the usual arrangement for several years in Sweden, Belgium, and Australia, and research there has shown much better outcomes for children. A handful of states have had similar laws for several years, and each year, a few more states follow suit and join the modern world in doing what is best for children: shared parenting. A soon-to-be-published study on Arizona’s law found that judges, attorneys, conciliation court staff, and mental health professionals evaluated its shared custody law positively overall, and positively in terms of its effects on children.

“Because of this new law in Virginia, the Commonwealth has taken an important first step to improve children’s educational achievements, decrease their use of drugs, give them a greater sense of security, and improve their overall health and adjustment.  We look forward to seeing Virginia continue down the path toward true shared parenting, which is good for mothers, good for fathers, and best for children and families.” Paasch said. “Please join us in celebrating this landmark first step!” 

 

 

Affiliate Member Highlights: 

 

In this issue, please read the stories of just a few of the men and women who made shared parenting possible in both Kentucky and Virginia. 

 

 

Jason Griffith

Minority Outreach Coordinator, Kentucky Affiliate Chapter

 

 

 

During my divorce process I remember the multiple court hearings during which I argued for 50/50 equal parenting with my ex-spouse.  Time after time, I lost for no good reason.  Last July 2017, after Kentucky passed its first Bill directing courts to order shared parenting for temporary custody order,I was encouraged.  But at the hearing, I lost custody of my daughter again……I was devastated.  I had made a promise to my little girl that she would get to have over-nights with her dad like her older brother does with his dad, and I felt like I let her down.

I started searching for Dad’s groups on Facebook just to get some support and I contacted The Father’s Rights Movement to attend a meeting. From there, I went with TFRM people to sit in on a legislative session in early February.  At that session, Matt Hale, Chair of the National Parents Organization spoke about shared parenting. Matt’s passion and energy for the new proposed Shared Parenting Bill was a breath of fresh air for me. I knew shared parenting was my passion and I wanted to be part of an organization that was working to help change the law to protect the right to co-parent.

 

Matt had already laid out the blueprint for what became HB 528.  When I joined NPO, I contacted every Senator with email addresses and phone numbers to convince them to support this new Bill. I had the privilege to talk to Senator Reggie Thomas, Senator Julie Adams, and Senator Damon Thayer.  Sen. Thayer even sent me a personal letter thanking me for my hard work in helping to pass House Bill 528 joint custody law!  I’ve had grandparents, mothers, and of course fathers calling me, crying, telling me “thank you!!” I have conversations with people on Twitter from different states and even other countries using Kentucky’s new Shared Parenting law as a sign of hope for them.  Slowly but surely this beautiful law is changing people’s minds about the importance of shared parenting everywhere!  I’m so proud to have been a part of making this happen for the families in Kentucky! 

 

 

 

 

Christian Paasch

Chair, Virginia Affiliate Chapter

 

 

Chair, Virginia Affiliate Chapter

 

Our courts should cry “Hallelujah!” upon hearing that a child has two parents, who love their child more than anything and want to be involved in their child’s life.  Unfortunately, our current system is adversarial and incentivizes conflict to the extreme.  Child custody proceedings, to include my own, don’t really ever “end”…they go in peaks and valleys, and will last as long as the money does.  When I began my custody proceedings, I thought it would involve the legal aspects we’re all familiar with:  right to an attorney, right to a speedy trial, rules of evidence, etc.  I quickly learned that none of these really exist in family court.  Success is almost exclusively dependent on how well your attorney knows the judge, how the judge interprets the “Best Interest” factors (and which ones are considered) on that day, and how much “justice” you can afford.  None of those things should matter, but they do. 

 

The bulk of my experience lasted about 5-6 years across three states and carried the price tag of multiple Ivy League educations – resources that could have been better spent my children. And the sad truth is that I was one of the lucky ones:  I had a good job, supportive friends and family, and an understanding boss at work.  The vast majority of parents in this situation don’t have that, and that’s why we do the work we do.  The majority of parents can’t afford to fight for their kids to the degree that the system demands, and in fact, they shouldn’t have to. Barring any extreme circumstances, children should never have to face the prospect of one of their parents being ripped away, just because that’s how it’s always been done.

 

Thankfully, we can do better.  I came across that better option three years ago, after researching both fathers’ and mothers’ groups, both of which I found to be equally angry and frustrated – perhaps from different angles – but unproductive, nonetheless.  I found the National Parents Organization’s mission unique and refreshing — uniting both moms and dads in the fight to make shared parenting the norm.  Ten years ago, I would not have thought that I would be writing this today, leading the NPO in Virginia, sitting on Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines Review Panel, and having led the successful passing of Virginia’s first pro-shared parenting bill in history. Yes, just a few short weeks ago, we passed the House Bill 1351 which requires courts to consider joint physical and legal custody of the child as a viable option. The trend towards shared parenting that we are seeing take hold across the country leaves me feeling happy for the progress made, hopeful for future efforts, and grateful for the strong men and women working together for the best interests of our children.

 

 

 

Teresa Aiello

Member, Virginia Affiliate Chapter

 

I joined the National Parents Organization a year ago after becoming sufficiently frustrated with the outdated family court system. Despite the numerous research studies demonstrating that shared custody is the best option for children after divorce – even when there is conflict between the parents — our family courts order sole custody in the majority of cases. This process creates winners and losers, dis-incentivizes cooperation, and ensures that conflict continues indefinitely – clogging our courts for years at great expense to society.  When my husband found himself in family court, neither of us expected him to lose custody of his son.  There was no abuse or neglect.  My husband, who was the stay at home parent in his son’s early years, is a good, loving father.  He and his son had a close relationship and, up until the family court’s ruling, my husband and his ex-wife were equal participants in their son’s parenting.  But that didn’t matter and over night my stepson and his Dad became mere visitors in each other’s lives.  

 

It doesn’t make sense to separate good parents from their children, have a system that incentivizes conflict.  It doesn’t have be that way.  I know my stepson would do better if shared parenting were the norm.  The conflict would decrease. He would be able to participate more fully in the lives of both of his families. He would be able to celebrate with his siblings on their birthdays, spend a snow day with them, see his grandparents when they come to visit, attend family events, and hold conversations about life over dinner – things he can’t do now unless those events fall on alternate weekends.   I can’t fix the judges’ decisions in our case.  I can’t give my stepson more time with his Dad. But I can try to make things better for other children.  So, I decided to join the men and women of the National Parents Organization to reform our family court system and work to pass the new House Bill 1351 so we can provide a better life for the children of Virginia.  I’m so proud to have helped make that happen!

 

 

 

NPO is a non-profit organization that relies on individual donations from readers like you. Please help us continue our work to protect children by making a contribution today. All donations are tax deductible.

 

Like and follow us:         
        

 

NPO Affiliates Advance Shared Parenting in Several States

 

Congrats are in order for many of our NPO state affiliate members – they have worked hard in recent months to advance shared parenting reform!

Most recently, this work resulted in Kentucky and Virginia passing new laws supportive of shared parenting, and our Missouri and Kansas affiliates also recently advanced legislation.

Here is a breakdown of the most recent NPO legislative action.

 

KENTUCKY

 

· Result: HB528 passed into law

· Key language: “Amend KRS 403.270 to create a presumption that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child, and to require the court to consider the motivation of the adults involved when determining the best interest of the child for custody orders; amend KRS 403.280 to specify that the presumption of joint custody and equal parenting time is in the best interest of the child; amend KRS 403.320 to allow a parent not granted custody or shared parenting time to petition for reasonable visitation rights; amend KRS 403.340 to specify that if a court modifies a custody decree there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interest of the child for the parents to have joint custody and equally shared parenting time.”

· Vote tallies: Passed 81-2 in the House, passed 38-0 in the Senate

· Date Governor signed: April 26

· Effective Date: late June

· NPO State Affiliate Chair: Matt Hale

 

VIRGINIA

 

· Result: HB1351 passed into law

· Key language: “Provides that the court shall consider and may award joint legal, joint physical, or sole custody of a child and there shall be no presumption in favor of any such form of custody.”

· Vote tallies: Passed 98-0 in the House, passed 40-0 in the Senate

· Date Governor approved: May 18

· Effective Date: July 1

· NPO State Affiliate Chair: Christian Paasch

 

MISSOURI

 

· Result: HB1667 passed the House and then made it to the Senate floor, where it died.

· Key language: “Establishes a rebuttable presumption that child custody arrangements that award equal parenting time are in the best interest of the child.”

· Vote tallies: Passed 137-7 in the House

· NPO State Affiliate Chair: Linda Reutzel

 

KANSAS

 

· Result: SB257 was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee before it died.

· Key language: “Creating a presumption of child’s equal time with parents during court determinations of legal custody, residency or parenting time.”

· NPO State Affiliate Chair: Will Mitchell

 

 

About Us

 

Mission

 

Vision

 

National Parents Organization

PO BOX 590548
Boston, Massachusetts 02459
(617) 542-9300

 

www.NationalParentsOrganization.org


Parents@NationalParentsOrganization.org

 

 

Your shopping matters! This Father’s Day, shop for Dad at smile.amazon.com/ch/04-3409728 and Amazon donates to National Parents Organization

This email contains a promotional message from the non-profit organization National Parents Organization.

©2018. National Parents Organization. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Newsletter

Father’s Day Issue: NPO Celebrates Shared Parenting Successes

Father’s Day Issue: NPO Celebrates Shared Parenting Successes
June 13, 2018

                                    Click Here if You Are Having Trouble Reading This Email
            Be sure to add NationalParentsOrganization.org to your contacts so our emails get to your inbox.

June 13, 2018


 
National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting  every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that   establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

     NPO Makes Huge Gains Toward Eliminating Fatherlessness

By Petra H. Maxwell, Esq., National Executive Director, NPO

As Father’s Day approaches, National Parents Organization wishes to celebrate fathers everywhere.  But in keeping with our mission, we take this opportunity to celebrate all parents.

This month, we have much cause for celebration here at NPO.  We’ve made significant progress in reshaping the family court system to promote shared parenting and eliminate fatherlessness.  Four of our Affiliate Chapters introduced shared-parenting legislation last month (see side-bar for details).  Kentucky and Virginia succeeded in passing groundbreaking legislation in their States supportive of shared parenting after divorce, which is great news – both for fathers and mothers.  But it’s especially good for their children. For the first time in these two states, judges will be required to consider shared parenting for a divorcing family without immediately resorting to the antiquated concept of sole custody.  We are thrilled to offer this good news to families everywhere, just days before Father’s Day. 

These law changes are in line with child development research. For instance, a study published in January by Linda Nielsen, a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University, analyzed about 60 international scientific studies spanning several decades. It concluded that shared parenting is best for children on multiple measures when parents divorce or separate.  For example, the studies noted that children who do not have the benefit of regular access to both parents suffer from numerous psycho-social maladies:

    · 85% of children exhibited behavioral disorders

    · 70% increased rate of teen suicides

    · of the juveniles in state-operated institutions, 70% reported having no            contact with their fathers

    · among high school drop-outs, 71% reported having had no access to            one of their parents

    · 75% of the children in chemical abuse centers reported lack of regular            contact with one parent

    · 85% of those in prison reportedly came from a single parent                        household with no regular contact with a father or mother

Here’s what I’m sure we can all agree on: Shared parenting among fit parents is best for kids.  And while we’ve been making great progress toward improving the lives of children after their parents separate or divorce, much work remains to be done. With all of this in mind, this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate dads – and then let’s all do our part to support the work of the National Parents Organization so we can continue to help even more children:  You can contribute to our organization by using the Donate button in this issue; contact your State Affiliate Chapter and volunteer; or just simply call your legislator and tell him or her that your vote depends on their support of shared-parenting.    

Happy Father’s Parent’s Day!

 
National Parents Organization Passes Landmark Shared Parenting Law in Kentucky!

Thanks to Kentucky legislators and Gov. Bevin, Kentucky now leads the nation in protecting children’s best interests when parents divorce or separate. The historic moment arrived on Thursday, April 26, when Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB528, a bill stating equal parenting time is best for children.

“April 26 goes down in history as the day Kentucky became the first true shared parenting state in the United States. Kentucky, more than any other state, can now say it does everything it can to give children two loving parents after divorce – just as our children deserve,” said Matt Hale, Chair of National Parents Organization in Kentucky, who led the reform effort for five years. “Research overwhelmingly shows children want and need both parents after separation. Our state lawmakers responded by aligning state laws with the research. This represents a common sense yet unprecedented move. Our lawmakers and primary sponsors Jason Petrie and Kevin Bratcher should be commended.”

The law passed the Kentucky House and Senate before Gov. Bevin signed it into law on April 26th.

 

Virginia Makes Family Court Reform History: Governor Northam Moves Shared Parenting Bill Into Law

National Parents Organization is excited to announce another historic event. On May 19, 2018 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam moved a bill into law that opens the door to a more robust shared parenting law in the future. Both the House and Senate unanimously passed House Bill 1351, which is set to become law on July 1, 2018. Importantly, Virginia’s bill leaves in place the same provisions that account for histories of domestic violence or other abuse.  Delegate Glenn Davis, R-House District 84, sponsored the bill (HB 1351).

“We couldn’t be more thrilled for the families of Virginia. We want to thank our legislators, especially Delegate Glenn Davis whose collaborative leadership is unmatched, and Governor Northam for acting unanimously on the overwhelming research that shows children do best when they spend significant time with both of their loving parents,” said Christian Paasch, Chair of National Parents Organization of Virginia. “I am proud to now be able to say that the Commonwealth has taken a first step to align its child custody laws with decades of child development research.  We still have work to do, but we are heartened by the passing of HB 1351.”

As The Washington Post reported, more than 20 states have recently considered legislation supportive of shared parenting – a flexible, collaborative, and safe child custody arrangement that seeks to maximize a child’s time with each parent. Virginia’s passage of HB 1351 comes on the heels of Kentucky signing a much stronger, rebuttable presumption of shared parenting into law last month.

Virginia’s new law now requires the court to formally consider joint/shared custody on par with sole custody.  While some might argue that Virginia’s statutes already allow for such a consideration, the truth is that approximately 85% of the time, sole or primary custody is still awarded.  Unfortunately, children in sole custody arrangements are exposed to a multitude of risks, such as teen suicide, school dropouts, and behavioral disorders.  Approximately 60 research studies from numerous states and countries and spanning several decades have shown that on every metric of well-being, children do better in shared parenting situations than in sole custody situations.

A trend toward shared parenting has gained steam in recent years. It has been the usual arrangement for several years in Sweden, Belgium, and Australia, and research there has shown much better outcomes for children. A handful of states have had similar laws for several years, and each year, a few more states follow suit and join the modern world in doing what is best for children: shared parenting. A soon-to-be-published study on Arizona’s law found that judges, attorneys, conciliation court staff, and mental health professionals evaluated its shared custody law positively overall, and positively in terms of its effects on children.

“Because of this new law in Virginia, the Commonwealth has taken an important first step to improve children’s educational achievements, decrease their use of drugs, give them a greater sense of security, and improve their overall health and adjustment.  We look forward to seeing Virginia continue down the path toward true shared parenting, which is good for mothers, good for fathers, and best for children and families.” Paasch said. “Please join us in celebrating this landmark first step!” 

Affiliate Member Highlights: 

In this issue, please read the stories of just a few of the men and women who made shared parenting possible in both Kentucky and Virginia. 

 
                      Jason Griffith

Minority Outreach Coordinator, Kentucky Affiliate Chapter

During my divorce process I remember the multiple court hearings during which I argued for 50/50 equal parenting with my ex-spouse.  Time after time, I lost for good reason.  Last July 2017, after Kentucky passed its first Bill directing courts to order shared parenting for temporary custody order,I was encouraged.  But at the hearing, I lost custody of my daughter again……I was devastated.  I had made a promise to my little girl that she would get to have over-nights with her dad like her older brother does with his dad, and I felt like I let her down.

I started searching for Dad’s groups on Facebook just to get some support and I contacted The Father’s Rights Movement to attend a meeting. From there, I went with TFRM people to sit in on a legislative session in early February.  At that session, Matt Hale, Chair of the National Parents Organization spoke about shared parenting. Matt’s passion and energy for the new proposed Shared Parenting Bill was a breath of fresh air for me. I knew shared parenting was my passion and I wanted to be part of an organization that was working to help change the law to protect the right to co-parent.

Matt had already laid out the blueprint for what became HB 528.  When I joined NPO, I contacted every Senator with email addresses and phone numbers to convince them to support this new Bill. I had the privilege to talk to Senator Reggie Thomas, Senator Julie Adams, and Senator Damon Thayer.  Sen. Thayer even sent me a personal letter thanking me for my hard work in helping to pass House Bill 528 joint custody law!  I’ve had grandparents, mothers, and of course fathers calling me, crying, telling me “thank you!!” I have conversations with people on Twitter from different states and even other countries using Kentucky’s new Shared Parenting law as a sign of hope for them.  Slowly but surely this beautiful law is changing people’s minds about the importance of shared parenting everywhere!  I’m so proud to have been a part of making this happen for the families in Kentucky! 

 

               Christian Paasch, Chair, Virginia Affiliate Chapter:

Our courts should cry “Hallelujah!” upon hearing that a child has two parents, who love their child more than anything and want to be involved in their child’s life.  Unfortunately, our current system is adversarial and incentivizes conflict to the extreme.  Child custody proceedings, to include my own, don’t really ever “end”…they go in peaks and valleys, and will last as long as the money does.  When I began my custody proceedings, I thought it would involve the legal aspects we’re all familiar with:  right to an attorney, right to a speedy trial, rules of evidence, etc.  I quickly learned that none of these really exist in family court.  Success is almost exclusively dependent on how well your attorney knows the judge, how the judge interprets the “Best Interest” factors (and which ones are considered) on that day, and how much “justice” you can afford.  None of those things should matter, but they do. 

The bulk of my experience lasted about 5-6 years across three states and carried the price tag of multiple Ivy League educations – resources that could have been better spent my children. And the sad truth is that I was one of the lucky ones:  I had a good job, supportive friends and family, and an understanding boss at work.  The vast majority of parents in this situation don’t have that, and that’s why we do the work we do.  The majority of parents can’t afford to fight for their kids to the degree that the system demands, and in fact, they shouldn’t have to. Barring any extreme circumstances, children should never have to face the prospect of one of their parents being ripped away, just because that’s how it’s always been done.

Thankfully, we can do better.  I came across that better option three years ago, after researching both fathers’ and mothers’ groups, both of which I found to be equally angry and frustrated – perhaps from different angles – but unproductive, nonetheless.  I found the National Parents Organization’s mission unique and refreshing — uniting both moms and dads in the fight to make shared parenting the norm.  Ten years ago, I would not have thought that I would be writing this today, leading the NPO in Virginia, sitting on Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines Review Panel, and having led the successful passing of Virginia’s first pro-shared parenting bill in history. Yes, just a few short weeks ago, we passed the House Bill 1351 which requires courts to consider joint physical and legal custody of the child as a viable option. The trend towards shared parenting that we are seeing take hold across the country leaves me feeling happy for the progress made, hopeful for future efforts, and grateful for the strong men and women working together for the best interests of our children.

         Teresa Aiello, Member, Virginia Affiliate Chapter:

I joined the National Parents Organization a year ago after becoming sufficiently frustrated with the outdated family court system. Despite the numerous research studies demonstrating that shared custody is the best option for children after divorce – even when there is conflict between the parents — our family courts order sole custody in the majority of cases. This process creates winners and losers, dis-incentivizes cooperation, and ensures that conflict continues indefinitely – clogging our courts for years at great expense to society.  When my husband found himself in family court, neither of us expected him to lose custody of his son.  There was no abuse or neglect.  My husband, who was the stay at home parent in his son’s early years, is a good, loving father.  He and his son had a close relationship and, up until the family court’s ruling, my husband and his ex-wife were equal participants in their son’s parenting.  But that didn’t matter and over night my stepson and his Dad became mere visitors in each other’s lives.  

It doesn’t make sense to separate good parents from their children, have a system that incentivizes conflict.  It doesn’t have be that way.  I know my stepson would do better if shared parenting were the norm.  The conflict would decrease. He would be able to participate more fully in the lives of both of his families. He would be able to celebrate with his siblings on their birthdays, spend a snow day with them, see his grandparents when they come to visit, attend family events, and hold conversations about life over dinner – things he can’t do now unless those events fall on alternate weekends.   I can’t fix the judges’ decisions in our case.  I can’t give my stepson more time with his Dad. But I can try to make things better for other children.  So, I decided to join the men and women of the National Parents Organization to reform our family court system and work to pass the new House Bill 1351 so we can provide a better life for the children of Virginia.  I’m so proud to have helped make that happen!

     Donate

    Like and follow us:                  

 

NPO Affiliates Advance Shared Parenting in Several States

Congrats are in order for many of our NPO state affiliate members – they have worked hard in recent months to advance shared parenting reform!

Most recently, this work resulted in Kentucky and Virginia passing new laws supportive of shared parenting, and our Missouri and Kansas affiliates also recently advanced legislation.

Here is a breakdown of the most recent NPO legislative action.

KENTUCKY

· Result: HB528passed into law

· Key language:“Amend KRS 403.270 to create a presumption that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child, and to require the court to consider the motivation of the adults involved when determining the best interest of the child for custody orders; amend KRS 403.280 to specify that the presumption of joint custody and equal parenting time is in the best interest of the child; amend KRS 403.320 to allow a parent not granted custody or shared parenting time to petition for reasonable visitation rights; amend KRS 403.340 to specify that if a court modifies a custody decree there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interest of the child for the parents to have joint custody and equally shared parenting time.”

· Vote tallies:Passed 81-2 in the House, passed 38-0 in the Senate

· Date Governor signed: April 26

· Effective Date: late June

· NPO State Affiliate Chair:Matt Hale

VIRGINIA

· Result:HB1351 passed into law

· Key language:“Provides that the court shall consider and may award joint legal, joint physical, or sole custody of a child and there shall be no presumption in favor of any such form of custody.”

· Vote tallies:Passed 98-0 in the House, passed 40-0 in the Senate

· Date Governor approved: May 18

· Effective Date:July 1

· NPO State Affiliate Chair:Christian Paasch

MISSOURI

· Result: HB1667passed the House and then made it to the Senate floor, where it died.

· Key language:“Establishes a rebuttable presumption that child custody arrangements that award equal parenting time are in the best interest of the child.”

· Vote tallies:Passed 137-7 in the House

· NPO State Affiliate Chair:Linda Reutzel

KANSAS

· Result: SB257 was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee before it died.

· Key language:“Creating a presumption of child’s equal time with parents during court determinations of legal custody, residency or parenting time.”

· NPO State Affiliate Chair: Will Mitchell

Establish an Affiliation in Your State

National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

If you are ready, please contact Petra Maxwell, National Executive Director. Together we can build an affiliate in your state.

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June 1st, 2017

Fabulous Conference Supports Shared Parenting

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June 1, 2017

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

Conference Could Be a Turning Point

By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization

On May 29 and 30, attendees from 24 countries ranging from China to the Middle East to Europe to North America gathered at the Downtown Westin Hotel in Boston to hear the world’s experts on shared parenting.

They heard that over 50 research studies support shared parenting as the best arrangement for most kids after parents separate or divorce; that shared parenting is better even when there is conflict between the parents (but not domestic violence); that legal conflict between the parents alone does not take away the advantages of shared parenting; that it is better even for infants; and that it improves children’s lives on numerous measures (better physical and mental health, better psychosocial adjustment, better relationships with both dad and mom, better grades in school, less delinquency, happier, and lots more).

Due to the broad international participation, the high quality of the program, the publicity we were able to attract, the videos that will be distributed and the upcoming publication of the plenary presentations, I believe that this Conference may well have an impact for many years. We asked at the beginning whether a watershed moment had been reached in our understanding of the best interest of the child. At the conclusion of the Conference, I think that from both a scientific and societal perspective, the answer will be yes.

Finally, I thought you might like to see some of the publicity we got.

The conference was organized and hosted primarily by National Parents Organization, with substantial assistance from the Europe-based International Council on Shared Parenting.

I am sure Robert Franklin will be blogging on our website in the days to come about many of the fascinating details that emerged.

Together with you in the love of our children,
Ned Holstein
Founder and Chairman of the Board

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About Us
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PO BOX 590548
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(617) 542-9300
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Information Resources

> Share Your Story:

Members share stories of their children and families.
> Advice:
Our most frequently asked questions are posted with answers from experts.

Establish an Affiliation in Your State

National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

If you are ready, please contact Ned Holstein, National Interim Executive Director. Together we can build an affiliate in your state.

 

Recent NPO Blog Posts

International Conference on Shared Parenting a Huge Success!

Are Australian Judges Paying Attention to the Research on Babies’ Overnights with Dad?

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Hymowitz Says the ‘Unsayable’

Florida Family Lawyers vs. Dads and Kids – Again

 

 
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Volunteer Testimonial

“There is nothing more tragic than a child who has been abandoned by his father, except those children who are prevented by judicial neglect, from being a part of their fathers’ lives.”

Louis Kiefer
Louis Kiefer, Esq., Member,
Connecticut Executive Committee

 
The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
This email contains a promotional message from the non-profit organization National Parents Organization.
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April 13th, 2017

Advocates: Let’s Get Together!!

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April 13, 2017

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.


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Boston Conference in May: Where Activists are Gathering

By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization


And Your Only Chance to Gather Latest Shared Parenting Info
From
World’s Experts in One Place

If you are serious as a family court reform activist, the place to be on May 29-30 is at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in downtown Boston at a major conference sponsored by National Parents Organization and the International Council on Shared Parenting. Here you will get to know the leaders of many organizations in this movement, meet our PR staff, have opportunities to gather informally with other activists, and to form new friendships and alliances.

You will come home with new ideas, new inspiration, and new friends and allies.

SO REGISTER NOW FOR A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE OUR CAUSE

If you are still in court yourself, nothing will equip you better for winning shared parenting than what you will learn in Boston. Better yet — tell your lawyer to attend too if she/he is serious about representing you — and they should not charge you for their education!

They should hear firsthand what William Fabricius has found about shared parenting for infants, and for high conflict families; William Bernet’s discoveries about how to disprove the charge that a child is alienated from you because you mistreated her; Vittorio Vezzetti’s research on whether there are actual changes in the brain chemistry of children who lose frequent contact with a loved parent; Edward’s Kruk’s findings on shared parenting and domestic violence, and much, much more.

In our “Legal Practica,” which occur each day both before and after the Scientific Sessions, distinguished family law attorneys from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire will offer four, two-hour question-and-answer sessions on the most common family law problems and how they actually play out in family court today. (See the Program below the Scientific Sessions for details.)

Sponsored by National Parents Organization together with the International Council on Shared Parenting, the official Conference Theme is:


Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in
Understanding Children’s Best Interest?


This conference will explore 40 years of research on how children fare in different post-divorce parenting arrangements.

Research suggests that fully half of troubled children and adolescents derive from conflicted, separated and divorced families. The faculty will delve into the relationship between different types of post-divorce parenting arrangements and children’s subjective and objective outcomes, their attachment to parental figures, and specific issues such as age and developmental level of children, high conflict, domestic violence, and parental alienation. The conference offers the rare opportunity to interact with leading legal and mental health scholars from around the world on this important topic. The program will include plenary sessions, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and break-out workshops.

Faculty Highlights:

The distinguished faculty will be headlined by Michael Lamb, formerly head of the Section on Social and Emotional Development of the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for 17 years, and now Professor of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Prof. Lamb is the author of over 500 professional articles and the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s 2015 Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology.

Dr. Richard Warshak is the author of the widely known “Consensus Report” of 2014. The conclusions of this comprehensive literature review of children’s outcomes as related to post-divorce parenting plans were signed by 110 eminent authorities from around the world.

The research of Profs Malin Bergström of Sweden and Patrick Parkinson of Australia reflects the fact that shared parenting has been very common in both countries for almost a decade, thus reducing the research problem of selection bias.

Other distinguished faculty include Sanford Braver (U.S.), William Fabricius, (U.S.), Edward Kruk (Canada), Linda Nielsen (U.S.), Irwin Sandler (U.S.), Jean Zermatten (Switzerland, UN Commission on the Rights of the Child), Pamela Ludolph (U.S.), and about 40 other scholars from 18 countries ranging from China to the Middle East to Europe to North America. See the full program.

Come to where the action and the knowledge will be on May 29-30, 2017 in Boston. Register today. I’m looking forward to meeting you there!

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About Us
Mission
Vision
National Parents Organization
PO BOX 590548
Boston, Massachusetts 02459
(617) 542-9300
www.NationalParentsOrganization.org

Parents@NationalParents
Organization.org

Information Resources

> Share Your Story:

Members share stories of their children and families.
> Advice:
Our most frequently asked questions are posted with answers from experts.

Establish an Affiliation in Your State

National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

If you are ready, please contact Ned Holstein, National Interim Executive Director. Together we can build an affiliate in your state.

 

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JOIN US & TAKE ACTION
Volunteer to help NPO achieve our objectives in numerous legislative,legal and media campaigns by organizing at a local level, making change happen on the ground, in your State.
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Volunteer Testimonial

“There is nothing more meaningful that we can do to ensure that our children will flourish than to protect their relationship with both parents. National Parents Organization focuses on significant, practical changes to family law that will protect every child’s right to the full, loving involvement of fit parents. National Parents Organization offers the opportunity to be effective in making changes that will protect the parent-child relationship when parents live apart.”

Don Hubin
Donald C. Hubin, Ph.D., Chair,
Ohio Executive Committee

 
The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
This email contains a promotional message from the non-profit organization National Parents Organization.
© 2017. National Parents Organization. All Rights Reserved.

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March 21st, 2017

Everything You Need to Know to Win Your Custody Battle

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March 21, 2017

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

National Parents Organization Brings the World’s Greatest
Experts to Boston for Shared Parenting Conference May 29-30, 2017

By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization

For those who anticipate a custody battle or modification, National Parents Organization is offering a once-in-a-generation gathering of the greatest researchers in the world on shared parenting at a conference on May 29-30, 2017 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in downtown Boston. If you attend this conference, you will be equipped with the latest and best science on the benefits of shared parenting, practical application within the courtroom, and an up-close look at those who might be the best expert witnesses in the U.S.

For detailed information, go to npo-icsp2017.org.

At this conference, you will hear the results of 40 years of accumulated research that demonstrates the superiority of shared parenting in most cases.

In addition, there will be close to eight hours of legal sessions on a variety of topics such as custody, child support, moveaways, alienation, and more.

The format of these “Legal Practica” will be primarily question-and-answer with some of the most distinguished family law attorneys in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

The child development research “headliners” include most of the rock stars whose research is already well known to some of you. They include:

  • Malin Bergström – Sweden. Prof. Bergström is with the renowned Karolinska Institute, and possesses a unique research database due to the fact that shared parenting is the norm in Sweden. She is a clinical child psychologist with 20 years experience of clinical experience. Malin has written several books about child development, attachment theory and parenting. Her research focuses on children’s health and welfare in shared parenting arrangements. After having conducted mainly epidemiological studies on schoolaged children and adolescents, she is now studying preschool children and infants in shared parenting settings, and conducting longitudinal studies on children in different family types.
  • Sanford Braver – USA. Sanford Braver is Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, where he served in the Psychology Department for 41 years. He was the recipient of 18 competitively reviewed, primarily federal, research grants, totaling over $28 million. His work has been published in nearly 130 peer-reviewed professional articles and chapters, and he is author of 3 books including Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths.
  • William Fabricius – USA. Prof. Fabricius is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at Arizona State University. He is an expert on children’s cognitive and social-emotional development, and on the role fathers play in promoting adolescents’ and young adults’ mental and behavioral health. His research in these areas has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the findings have been published in top journals in the field.
  • Edward Kruk – Canada. Prof. Kruk is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, specializing in child and family policy, with over forty years of clinical and community work experience in child and family social work. He is author of the books “Divorce and Disengagement: Patterns of Fatherhood Within and Beyond Marriage”, “Divorced Fathers: Children’s Needs and Parental Responsibilities”, and “The Equal Parent Presumption”, and has published widely in a variety of academic and professional journals. He is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for research and service contributions, is Canada’s leading authority on parenting after divorce, and is President of the International Council on Shared Parenting.
  • Hildegund Sünderhauf – Germany. Prof. Sünderhauf has been Professor of Family Law and Youth Welfare Law at the Lutheran University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg for 17 years. She is the author of the first and only monograph about Shared Parenting in Germany and co-founder of the International Council on Shared Parenting. She was initiator of Resolution 2079 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe entitled "Equality and shared parental responsibility: the role of fathers", that calls on the member states to "introduce into their laws the principle of shared residence following a separation".
  • Michael Lamb – UK. Prof. Lamb is Professor of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. He is perhaps the most respected authority in the world on several topics in developmental psychology, including the role of parent- child relationships in development and is considered the "father" of fatherhood research. His scholarship has shaped decision making by family court judges, and his expert testimony in major class actions has helped transform U.S. law. In 1980, he became at 27 the youngest full professor in an American university. Over his 40-year career, Lamb has published nearly 500 professional articles and he is the author or editor of nearly 50 books, including 5 editions of The Role of the Father in Child Development. He has received numerous awards including, from the American Psychological Association (APA), its 2014 for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology, and its 2015 Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology. He currently edits the APA journal, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, and is President of APA’s Division 7 (Developmental Psychology). He was formerly the head of the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the foremost agency in the world funding research on child development.
  • Linda Nielsen – USA. Linda Nielsen is Professor of Adolescent and Educational Psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC. She is an internationally recognized expert on shared physical custody research and father-daughter relationships, with a special emphasis on divorced fathers. In addition to her many academic journal articles, she has written three books on father-daughter relationships and three editions of the college textbook, Adolescence: A Contemporary View. She is often invited to present seminars about the shared custody research to family court and mental health professionals and to policy makers in the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been featured in a PBS documentary, on National Public Radio, and in magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine.
  • Patrick Parkinson – Australia. Prof. Parkinson is a professor of law at the University of Sydney, Australia, and was President of the International Society of Family Law from 2011-2014. He has had a major role in the development of legislation and practice in family law and child protection in Australia. He served from 2004-2007 as Chairperson of the Family Law Council, an advisory body to the federal Attorney-General, and also chaired a review of the Child Support Scheme in 2004-05 which led to the enactment of major changes to the Child Support Scheme. He was also Chairperson of a major review of the state law concerning child protection which led to the enactment of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. In 2004, he was instrumental in persuading the Australian Prime Minister of the time, John Howard, to invest in a national network of Family Relationship Centers, offering mediation and other services to parents going through separation. These have had a major role in assisting parents to resolve parenting issues and to stay out of court.
  • Richard Warshak – USA. Prof. Warshak is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and one the world’s most respected authorities on divorce, child custody, and the psychology of alienated children. As a White House advisor, and through his studies on divorce and custody appearing in 14 books and more than 75 articles in eighteen languages, Dr. Warshak has had a broad impact on family law. His book, Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing is the best-selling and highest reviewed book for divorced parents. In 2014, he authored a landmark review of shared parenting research whose conclusions were endorsed by 110 eminent signatories from around the world.
  • Jean Zermatten – Switzerland. Jean Zermatten was elected Chairman of the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child by acclamation of both chambers in 2011. As part of this organization, he has worked tirelessly to improve juvenile justice and strengthen the protection of children. He regularly conducts assessment missions and gives advice to governments on several continents. He has made the rights of the child known by managing bodies and professionals, elevating the status of children in our society. By implementing different levels of training, he has made the Rights of the Children a field of academic study. Zermatten is also Director of the International Institute for the Rights of the Child, and was president of the International Association of Magistrates for Youth and Family.

In addition, we are offering about 35 additional eminent scholars from 18 countries, ranging from China to Australia to the Middle East to Europe to North America.

This unbelievable Conference offers a faculty who are widely considered to include almost all of the leading scholars in the world on the subject of optimal post-divorce parenting arrangements. This group of eminent scholars may never before, and perhaps may never again, be brought together from all parts of the developed world in the same conference. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity!

Plus the rare opportunity of almost eight hours of practical legal advice from leading family law practitioners (of greatest value to those whose custody cases are in Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Connecticut).

Go to npo-icsp2017.org to learn more about the faculty, the program details, how to register, and how to reserve hotel accommodations.

If you cannot attend yourself, help NPO make this fabulous Conference a success by publicizing it through all channels available to you, such as your personal contacts, listserves, LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other medium you use.

This Conference will be a landmark event, catalyzing social and legislative change over the next decade. You will want to be there!

Go to npo-icsp2017.org !!

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Other News

Mother drugged 9-year-old daughter and burnt her to death amid bitter custody battle

Cash me outside: Teen’s father files lawsuit to gain more rights

Judge Slashes Ex-US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Child Support

Historic ruling grants ‘tri-custody’ to trio who had threesome

Father wins payout after being prevented from seeing children for two years

Georgia House OKs bill to protect men incorrectly accused of paternity

Weeks after foster teen’s suicide, child welfare groups spar over system’s dysfunction

Domestic Violence Studies

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Amazon Smiles on National Parents Organization


When you shop at AmazonSmile you will find the same low prices, selection, and convenient shopping as Amazon. The bonus is that once you designate National Parents Organization, we will receive a gift for every purchase you make.

Move your purchases to AmazonSmile. Same online convenience. Same selection.


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About Us
Mission
Vision
National Parents Organization
PO BOX 590548
Boston, Massachusetts 02459
(617) 542-9300
www.NationalParentsOrganization.org

Parents@NationalParents
Organization.org

Information Resources

> Share Your Story:

Members share stories of their children and families.
> Advice:
Our most frequently asked questions are posted with answers from experts.

Establish an Affiliation in Your State

National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

If you are ready, please contact Ned Holstein, National Interim Executive Director. Together we can build an affiliate in your state.

 

Recent NPO Blog Posts

Comparing Supporters and Opponents of North Dakota’s Shared Parenting Bill

Two Years Later and Family Lawyers in North Dakota Still Haven’t Learned

DV Restraining Order Handed Out Like Halloween Candy

Texas: CPS Reforms Still not Funded

The Serious and the Silly: Efforts to ‘Prove’ Family Courts Fair to Dads

 

 
JOIN US & TAKE ACTION
Volunteer to help NPO achieve our objectives in numerous legislative,legal and media campaigns by organizing at a local level, making change happen on the ground, in your State.
Learn More
 
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Volunteer Testimonial

“I am very proud to be part of National Parents Organization, helping to make shared parenting a reality. Children should have equal access to both parents whenever possible. It makes their lives better, and it ensures a brighter future for everyone in this country. Equal rights for both parents, regardless of gender, is today’s most pressing social issue”

Alan Cooke
Alan Cooke, CFA, Co-Chair, Massachusetts Executive Committee

 
The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
This email contains a promotional message from the non-profit organization National Parents Organization.
© 2017. National Parents Organization. All Rights Reserved.