NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
August 24, 2017
SUPPORT WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY WITH SHARED PARENTING
25 States Recently Considered Reform
BOSTON, MA – National Parents Organization urges citizens and legislators nationwide to recognize Women’s Equality Day on Saturday, Aug. 26 by supporting shared parenting legislation across the country. Shared parenting is a flexible arrangement in which parents who are separated or divorced each provide at least 35% of the parenting time. The current sole custody model assigns mothers nearly 90 percent of the parenting time, which limits their time to pursue career goals, hobbies and a social life.
“When children have as close to equal time as possible with each parent, moms and dads also have equal time for their careers,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “And since almost 30 percent of mothers are saddled with nearly full-time single parenting, the pay gap cannot be eliminated without shared parenting.”
Holstein also said: “Our family courts need to stop placing sole responsibility for child rearing on the mother and encourage their career achievements by allowing dad to assume equal responsibility for raising children. Shared parenting is most important for the children, who want and need equal time with both parents following divorce, but it has additional benefits to the parents, including promoting equal opportunity to accomplish professional goals.”
While shared parenting is unusual, efforts to turn it from the exception to the norm within the family courts are growing. Several states have recently implemented reform, and 25 states total have considered shared parenting legislation this year. States including Kentucky and Missouri have implemented shared parenting reform in the past year. In a 2016 professional poll of 580 Maryland voters, only 17% of women opposed this reform.
“Shared parenting gets rid of the outdated model of a female homemaker and a male breadwinner and allows both parents the time to pursue a successful work-life balance,” Dr. Holstein said. “The Maryland poll results show that women want this flexibility. The evidence showing shared parenting is also in the best interest of children is overwhelming. With this in mind, backing family law reform that seeks to move shared parenting from rare to common is a terrific way to support the best possible environment for children. This Women’s Equality Day, let’s work together to relieve single mothers and help give children of single parents what they most want and need – love, time and support from both parents.”
RECENT RESEARCH: SHARED PARENTING VERSUS SINGLE PARENTING
Shared Parenting Data
· The Journal of the American Psychological Association published a paper titled “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report” in 2014, and the conclusions were endorsed by 110 eminent authorities around the world. Authored by Dr. Richard Warshak at the University of Texas, the paper concluded, “… shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages, including very young children.”
· In 2016, Dr. Warshak wrote, “Two years after its publication, the conclusions and recommendations of the Warshak consensus report remain supported by science.” He also wrote, “The paper has been translated into at least eighteen languages and has informed legislative deliberations throughout the U.S. and parliamentary deliberations in several countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Finland, Romania, Croatia, and Sweden. Two years after its publication, the consensus report continues to be one of the most downloaded papers from the journal’s website.” He added, “The list of endorsers and their stature and accomplishments reflect the field’s general acceptance of the consensus report’s findings as rooted in settled science from more than four decades of research directly relevant to this topic, including seminal studies by many of the endorsers.”
· The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published a 150,000-person study titled “Fifty moves a year: Is there an association between joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems in children?” in May 2015 that concluded shared parenting after divorce or separation is in the best interest of children’s health because the arrangement lowers their stress levels.
· The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) published the recommendations of 32 family law experts in 2014, and the group concluded, “Children’s best interests are furthered by parenting plans that provide for continuing and shared parenting relationships that are safe, secure, and developmentally responsive and that also avoid a template calling for a specific division of time imposed on all families.”
· In December, 2016, The American Psychological Association published research by William V. Fabricius of Arizona State University in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law entitled, “Should Infants and Toddlers Have Frequent Overnight Parenting Time With Fathers? The Policy Debate and New Data.” Prof Fabricius’ findings provide “… strong support for policies to encourage frequent overnight parenting time [up to and including 50/50 overnights –Ed] for infants and toddlers [even younger than one year –Ed], because the benefits [for children-Ed] associated with overnights also held for parents who initially agreed about overnights as well as for those who disagreed and had the overnight parenting plan imposed over 1 parent’s objections.” Fabricius shared details on his findings during the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017, a May 29-30, 2017 event in Boston, Massachusetts hosted by National Parents Organization and the International Council on Shared Parenting.
Single Parenting Data
According to federal statistics from sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, children raised by single parents account for:
· 63% of teen suicides;
· 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions;
· 71% of high school drop-outs;
· 75% of children in chemical abuse centers;
· 85% of those in prison;
· 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders; and
· 90% of homeless and runaway children.
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
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.
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