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USA Today Reports: States Fail on Shared Parenting Laws

November 25, 2014
By Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director, National Parents Organization

National Parents Organization is encouraging its members and friends to share recent media coverage of National Parents Organization’s inaugural Shared Parenting Report Card. The media attention heightens awareness of the need for child custody reform and supports shared parenting.  Spread the news to as many people as possible!  We need to win in the court of public opinion in order to move us forward on the path toward change in family that has children’s best interests at heart.

National Parents Organization Released its Shared Parenting Report Card on November 13.  The report is the nation’s first study to issue each state a grade, A through F, on the degree to which state statutes support shared parenting. Following the report card’s release, national media, including USA Today, as well as television, radio, print and online media in numerous states, including Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota have covered the report and shared parenting.

A few highlights of the extensive news coverage include:

  • The USA Today story “Report: States fail on shared parenting laws” reported, “The difficulty in convincing state lawmakers to buck tradition was reflected in a first-ever report card released Thursday by the National Parents Organization. The study evaluated state custody laws and found that most of them are not friendly to shared parenting.” The newspaper interviewed National Parents Organization Founder and Board Chair Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. for the story, “Holstein said judges across the country still rely on decades-old research rooted in Freudian psychoanalysis about what’s best for children. More recent studies have discredited theories that children should only be with their mothers.”
  • Louisville, Kentucky, NBC TV affiliate WAVE3 TV aired an endorsement of shared parenting titled “News Editorial: Shared Parenting” in which the station’s vice president stated, “We encourage state legislatures and family courts to re-examine the impact they are having on our children. Providing children with as much time as possible with both parents seems more beneficial overall for situations that are admittedly not ideal.”
  • Charleston, South Carolina, newspaper The Post and Courier’s story “National group gives SC failing grade for child custody laws” included comments from Senator Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, who was a primary sponsor of a 2014 shared parenting bill. “I think there’s a lot of opposition against it, but I don’t know why,” Shealy said in the article. "All kids need both parents.” The story continued, “Shealy said fathers who wanted to take an active role in their children’s lives approached her about the measure, because the state still tends to favor the mother as the preferred parent in divorces. Courts, she said, don’t look at both parents like they should. Shealy said she plans to revisit the bill during the upcoming legislative session.”

As the news coverage continues, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to share the report card coverage we’ve received so far through social media, email and other communication avenues.

You can easily spread the word on all the report card news coverage by promoting National Parents Organization In The Media section of National Parents Organization website. The section contains an announcement on each report card story so that you can individually share the media announcements.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are thankful for the recent media coverage as well as our members’ efforts to spread the word on the report card and its initial news attention.

This is a great kickoff to our affiliates introducing Shared Parenting in Temporary Custody Orders in 2015.

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