“Youngsters need two loving parents in their lives, and if a father has been deemed fit by the courts and is ready and willing to be a good parent, no one should be allowed to stand in his way.”–Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Board
After discussing child custody and child support with Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Chair of the Board of Fathers and Families, the Editorial Board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper, called for more shared parenting in their Father’s Day editorial Making sense of child support in Ohio: editorial (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/19/10). Now the Plain Dealer’s Ed Board has come out with a strong editorial calling for enforcement of visitation orders and criticizing the sole custody for mothers norm. To write a Letter to the Editor, click here.
The Board writes:
When parents fail to pay child support, the consequences are clear — seizure of driver’s licenses, and a new nickname: deadbeat. But when custodial parents — usually mothers — refuse to allow their legally entitled ex-spouse or boyfriend to visit their children, they often escape punishment. Yet both are disobeying a court order.
It’s a problem across the country, but it’s time court officials in Greater Cleveland find a fair resolution…Youngsters need two loving parents in their lives, and if a father has been deemed fit by the courts and is ready and willing to be a good parent, no one should be allowed to stand in his way…Child visitation works when parents behave as adults and consider what is in the best interests of their children. Let’s end the practice of allowing children to suffer collateral damage in the war between parents.
The Board also commends a Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court plan to “add a mediation program this fall that encourages parents to come up with a child-visitation plan early in divorce proceedings, before both sides are arguing bitterly over other issues” and calls on “all Ohio courts to put mothers and fathers on an equal plane from the start. Currently, the courts presume that single mothers automatically have sole custody. In an age when many fathers care for even the youngest infants, it’s hard to defend that presumption.”