NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION PRESS RELEASE
April 21, 2015
ALERT:THE WALL STREET JOURNAL SHINES LIGHT ON FAMILY COURT REFORM TREND
SHARED PARENTING BILLS OFTEN SEE BAR ASSOCIATION OPPOSITION
BOSTON – National Parents Organization was pleased to work with The Wall Street Journal on its in-depth coverage that reveals a national trend in which nearly 20 state legislatures have introduced shared parenting legislation to reform our family courts and encourage parental equality in instances of divorce or separation.
These states include:
“Prompted partly by fathers concerned that men for too long have gotten short shrift in custody decisions, about 20 states are considering measures that would change the laws governing which parent gets legal and physical control of a child after a divorce or separation,” The Wall Street Journal’s Ashby Jones reported in the April 16 article “Big Shift Pushed in Custody Disputes.” “The proposals generally encourage judges to adopt custody schedules that maximize time for each parent.”
The Wall Street Journal article includes comments from National Parents Organization Board Member Donald Hubin, Ph.D., who directed the research and publication of National Parents Organization’s inaugural Shared Parenting Report Card.
The national legislative trend is in line with recent social science research.
“There have been a lot of studies in recent years that show that when you share parenting duty – when both the mother and the father share at least 35 percent of the actual parenting responsibilities – the outcomes are very good for children,”The Wall Street Journal’s Ashby Jones stated in the Journal’s video on the issue.
National Parents Organization Founder and Board Chair Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., said, “I’m encouraged to see legislators in one-third of our states acting on the research, and I urge lawmakers in all states to move shared parenting forward so more children can experience the constant love and care of both their parents.”
The Wall Street Journal article highlighted that many of these bills are being opposed by similar interests – family law attorneys and state bar associations. “Supporters maintain that the opponents, which include many family lawyers and bar associations, are trying to keep alive an adversarial culture that leads to lengthy—and often lucrative—court battles,” Jones reported. “They say the law should better reflect recent studies that show children are better off when both parents play a meaningful role in their lives.”
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.
SINGLE PARENTING VERSUS SHARED PARENTING
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Census Bureau and numerous researchers have reported alarming outcomes for the 35% of children who are raised by single parents. Yet, until now, this factor has been largely ignored in the conversation about child wellbeing.
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.
Whether the problem is emotional disturbances of children, drug use, alcohol use, teen pregnancy, poor performance in school, trouble with the law or running with gangs, being raised by a single parent is a powerful risk factor. For many of these outcomes, single parenting is a stronger risk factor than race or poverty. Conversely, children on average do much better on all these measures if they have shared parenting. Children ardently desire shared parenting in most cases and are happier with it.
For parents, shared parenting significantly increases child support compliance, diminishes parental conflict and domestic violence and allows both parents to pursue their careers, social lives and other interests without the burden of singlehandedly raising a child.
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