May 16, 2011
Fathers and Families Board Chairman Ned Holstein, MD, MS was quoted in the Boston Herald concerning H02684, F & F’s shared parenting bill, and S00851, another divorce-related bill which we do not support. From Chris Cassidy’s Divorcing parents, don”t try this at home (Boston Herald, 5/16/11):
Custodial parents caught up in contentious divorces would need a judge”s nod to date or carry on a sexual relationship inside their own home under a bill Beacon Hill pols will take up this week.
Wrentham Selectman Robert Leclair said his bill is meant to prevent domestic violence and shield children while the divorce is under way. “It”s not intended to abridge the rights of anybody,’ he said. “If they want to have an extra-marital affair, just get away from the home.’ The bill, which lawmakers will hear Wednesday, would bar custodial parents from “conducting a dating or sexual relationship within the home’ until the divorce is settled. “It could go that far if the courts found it detrimental to the children,’ said Leclair, who said he had a bitter divorce. Leclair is the former president of Fathers United for Equal Justice, which disbanded in the 1990s. But he”s not earning much support from similar fathers-rights groups. Ned Holstein of Fathers and Families called the bill a distraction from the shared parenting bill — creating a legal assumption of equal custody rights — that lawmakers also will take up Wednesday. “By and large, family courts have washed their hands of who”s sleeping with whom,’ said Holstein. State Sen. Richard Ross sponsored the bill for his constituent, but has taken no position on it. Leclair has submitted it repeatedly in recent years to no avail.
To comment on the story, click here. To write to reporter Chris Cassidy about the piece, go to email@example.com. To learn more about our shared parenting bill, click here. Cassidy’s piece is fair enough, but he errs in describing Fathers and Families as a “fathers-rights group.” We are instead a family court reform organization which seeks equality for both mothers and fathers—certainly there’s no “right” which we have ever demanded for fathers which we wouldn’t also demand for mothers or which mothers do not already have.