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Nebraska Courts Approve Shared Parenting Even amid High Conflict

April 21, 2019 by Rober Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Two Nebraska courts have gotten it right on shared parenting.  More importantly, the case may be a harbinger of things to come.  The case of Leners v. Leners was probably not easy to decide, particularly for the trial court, but it reached the correct decision which the state Supreme Court upheld.

Sharon and Stacy Leners were married in 1997 and divorced in 2016.  They had two children, one of whom was almost an adult when the case was decided and therefore not part of the custody findings.  The younger child was 15. 

 

Social Workers Poorly Trained for Children’s Welfare

April 19, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

As if children’s welfare agencies don’t have enough problems, now comes this (Chronicle of Social Change, 4/9/19).  It’s a piece by Tom Morton, a veteran of some 39 years’ experience in social work.  Although tactful, Morton is none too pleased with the training social workers receive.  Specifically, despite making up a large percentage of caseworkers for CPS agencies, graduates of schools of social work tend strongly to receive little-to-no training in understanding, assessing and addressing child maltreatment by parents.

 

Michelle Obama: Divorced Dads Resemble Donald Trump

April 18, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Well!  Being compared to Donald Trump – that is an insult (Washington Times, 4/16/19)!

That’s just what former First Lady Michelle Obama did on Sunday, though.  She compared the country under Trump to a child being cared for by a divorced dad.
“We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled,” she said, The Independent reported. “Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun, but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.”
Yes, heaven forfend that a child should become ill while at his/her father’s house.  Clearly the man is just a dad and wouldn’t have a clue about how to deal with a sick child.  After all, he’s never done that before, has no common sense and wouldn’t dream of having the phone number for the pediatrician.  Chicken soup?  Out of the question.

 

Fathers’ Provisioning Leads to Nurturing

April 17, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

If I’ve said once, I’ve said it a hundred times: fathers’ providing financially for their families is a form of childcare.  How is it not?  Earning the money for food, clothing, a roof over the child’s head, etc. provide obvious and necessary benefits for the child.  Often enough, they also give Mom the opportunity to provide the direct hands-on care the child needs and Mom likely wants to give.  And yet courts rarely consider fathers’ financial contributions when deciding who’s been the parent who deserves primary custody.

This article goes me one better (Quillette, 4/11/19).  Its author, Belinda Brown, channels much of what Dr. Anna Machin said in her book The Life of Dad.  But she goes on to make another salient point that neither I nor Machin have.

 

Australian Law Reform Committee Report, Part Three

April 15, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This brings us to the nut of the matter in the Final Report of the Australian Law Reform Committee, i.e. its scrapping of the requirement that judges “consider” equal parenting time when parents divorce.  If the number of citations to pro-shared parenting documents and commentators is any indication, the committee entirely ignored any input that favors shared parenting.  Put simply, there are no citations to literature and no quotations of those on the side of shared parenting.

That’s true despite the fact that the report bemoans the current system as “too adversarial,” which it certainly is, and the detrimental effects of father absence.  Needless to say, a presumption of shared parenting would address, if not solve, both problems.  The committee is aware of the extreme imbalance in custody between mothers (69.4%) and fathers (under 9%).  Although it nowhere mentions it, the committee, composed as it is of a substantial number of lawyers and judges, must know that the current system, as a matter of precedent, refuses to enforce orders for access via the court’s power of contempt.  Therefore it must have some inkling of the fact that courts play a big role in the very father absence the report inveighs against.


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