NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
APRIL 25, 2016
BOSTON — Amid attention surrounding National Parental Alienation Awareness Day on Monday, April 25, including Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s honorable decision to recognize the day, National Parents Organization encourages lawmakers nationwide to join the movement to turn shared parenting from the exception to the norm when parents divorce or separate.
“Far too often, the courts order sole custody to one parent after a bitter, winner-take-all custody battle. Because the non-custodial parent often has so little time with the child, the winning parent is empowered to poison the child’s mind against the ‘absent’ parent. This creates heartbreak for child and parent,” Dr. Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization, said. “With shared parenting, it is difficult for anyone to turn the child against a parent with whom the child experiences frequent loving care. Shared parenting decreases these tragic cases of parental alienation. I urge legislators in all states to back shared parenting.”
Numerous states, including Missouri, are considering legislation that encourages shared parenting – when children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent following divorce or separation – rather than the usual family court outcome of sole custody. A handful of states have supported shared parenting for years, and in recent years, states including Utah, South Dakota and Minnesota have joined the movement by passing new laws promoting shared parenting.
The legislative trend aligns with breakthroughs announced late last year at the 2015 International Conference on Shared Parenting, a conference of about 120 research scientists and other experts from over 20 countries, who met in in Bonn, Germany.
The Conference concluded that “… there is mounting evidence that shared parenting can both prevent parental alienation, and is a potential remedy for existing situations of parental alienation in separated families…”
“We’ve long known that shared parenting gives children what they most want and need following separation or divorce – two, not just one, loving parents actively involved in their lives. And now we also know that if a judge orders the more harmonious two-parent model, the pain of parental alienation can often be avoided,” Dr. Holstein said. “My hope is that we can make shared parenting the norm so that one day, we can erase National Parental Alienation Awareness Day from the calendar and replace it with National Happy Children Day.”
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization
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, Dr. 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 serves on the faculty.
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. In 2014, National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws. Visit the National Parents Organization website at www.nationalparentsorganization.org.