David L. Levy, Esq., a co-founder and longtime president of the Children’s Rights Council, has written us with the sad news that children’s advocate Paul Robinson (pictured) recently passed away at the age of 88.
From David L. Levy:
Paul Robinson, the beloved, long time advocate for children and custody reform, has died after a long illness in northern Virginia. Paul leaded Fathers United for Equal Rights and Women’s Coalition for more than 30 years. He held regular meetings of his support group at a church in northern Virginia every two weeks, and helped thousands of dads, moms and grandparents who attended those meetings to help their children and grandchildren.
Paul also gave enormous time and energy in meetings with individual parents, and going with them to court when necessary. He also opened his home as a “halfway house” for parents to live in from time to time, in their hour of most desperate need.
After my separation from my first wife, I immediately realized that I needed help. I was a copyright lawyer, but knew nothing about custody. This was about 31 years ago. I found out about Paul’s support group and started attending meetings. At the meetings, I met John Bauserman Sr., Michael L. Oddenino, Elliott Diamond, and others who became the nucleus of the Children’s Rights Council. Paul’s group became a chapter of CRC. he attended all of our 16 national conferences, and other CRC events.
On a personal note, Paul could spot a phony a mile away. During the course of any non-profit organization, there are always people who do not understand the mission and try to cheat the organization. Paul would spot them and interrogate them mercilessly to get at the truth. It is his absolutely honest, straight-arrow approach to life, and integrity, as well as his unflagging commitment to helping reform the legal system in this country, that I and those who loved him so much will most remember.
The memorial service for Paul Robinson was held at the Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church in Burke, Virginia — a church Paul helped to found 30 years ago. Perhaps 100 people were there — family, friends, and divorced parents.
Paul’s younger brother David gave the family background, explaining why Paul was so interested in social justice, determined, and a capable flyer of small planes from age 16.
Speakers included other family members, neighbors, CRC members, and representatives from Fathers United for Equal Rights and Women’s Coalition, which Paul ran for more than 30 years. Paul’s mother was known for feeding strangers who came to her door in the early 1900’s, sometimes inviting them to sleep in the family’s basement; but she would ask them to work for an hour or two. That must be where Paul got his idea of opening his own house to parents going through ruinous custody battles, inviting them to stay there for weeks or months at a time.
Common threads of Paul’s life were devotion to his family and his pursuit of the truth and facts, often asking people, “What do you mean by that?” and “How do you know that?”
God Bless You, Paul.