NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
January 16, 2015
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION CALLS ON U.S. OFFICE OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT TO ALTER PROPOSED RULE CHANGES
BOSTON — National Parents Organization commends the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement’s (OCSE) current effort to update its rules for the first time in 35 years. At the same time, however, we urge the Office to consider additional revisions that go further in fostering the best interest of children.
“We applaud the OCSE for recognizing that the problem of unpaid child support is mainly due to poverty among payers. It states, ‘Most arrearages are owed by noncustodial parents with earnings under $10,000 and are uncollectible.’ Currently, the pressure to collect the uncollectible is driving many of these parents underground, out of the lives of the children who love and want them. The new proposals by the OCSE will help to give back the second parent to these children,” said Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Chair of National Parents Organization.
The National Parents Organization also encourages the OCSE to take positive steps for middle class children as well.
Deanna Marchand, financial planner and Co-Chair of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Parents Organization, said, “When you run the numbers, it is easy to show that in some states, middle class child support orders are sometimes two or three times what it actually costs to raise a child. This multi-year windfall for the custodial parent creates resistance to shared parenting, which researchers have shown is the best arrangement for children. Even worse for children is the legacy of bitterness between parents after a toxic custody battle motivated by child support profit. Children end up with a bitter non-custodial parent whom they get to see only a few days per month.”
Dr. Holstein added, “We believe the two-condo, two-parent, and two-winner solution is much better for children than one big house and one shabby apartment, two involved parents instead of one custodial and one non-custodial parent, and two equal parents instead of a winner and a loser.”
In addition, while National Parents Organization appreciates the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement encouraging public comments through its website until Jan. 16, the organization believes input opportunities should extend to public hearings.
“With nearly 50 percent of children in our nation living apart from at least one of their parents, these rules have a tremendous impact on millions of children across the country,” Holstein said. “This is a historic occasion, and it is pertinent that those affected have every opportunity to help shape outcomes.”
“In order to meet the needs of modern families, we urge the OCSE to take this opportunity to address a negative reality in our society – our nation’s family courts continue to award sole custody, usually to the mother, in over 80 percent of child custody cases,” Holstein said. “Poor child support rules are a major driver of this outcome. Our organization recently released the inaugural Shared Parenting Report Card, a report highlighting that many states are not only discouraging shared parenting, but they are also depriving children of what they benefit from most – ample time with both of their parents – while also enabling a system that fosters parental and gender inequality.”
ABOUT NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3)organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or separation. The organization is focused on promoting shared parenting and preserving a child’s strong bond with both parents, which is critically important to their emotional, mental, and physical health. Visit the National Parents Organization website at www.nationalparentsorganization.org
Ned Holstein, MD, MS
A regular contributor to local and national media, Dr. Holstein is Founder and Chair of the Board of National Parents Organization. Dr. Holstein was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child Centered Family Law, and he was previously appointed by a Massachusetts Chief Justice to a task force charged with reviewing and revising the state’s child support guidelines.
A graduate of Harvard College, Holstein also earned a Master’s degree in psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His medical degree is from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he later served on the faculty as a teacher and researcher.