March 20, 2020 Bucyrus Telegraph Forum "Hubin: How does Crawford County care for children of divorce?" Don Hubin, National Board of Directors
March 20, 2020 by Don Hubin, Ph.D., Chair, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Are Crawford County parents less important to their children’s well-being than those in counties like Ashtabula, Carroll, Clermont, Holmes and Tuscarawas? That seems to be the message Judge Sean Leuthold is sending to divorcing parents in Crawford County.
Imagine two children, Amy and Brittany. Both live in Ohio: Amy in Bucyrus and Brittany in New Philadelphia. Unfortunately, both girls’ parents are divorcing. This will be a rough time for the girls but, fortunately, all four of the parents are good, loving parents — divorcing each other, not their daughters — and each wants to remain fully engaged in their daughter’s lives.
Because Brittany lives in Tuscarawas County, when her parents go to court to settle how they will continue to raise the child they both love, they will be presented with a local rule of the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas that treats them both equally and presumes that they will continue to be equally involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of raising Brittany.
February 28, 2020 The Altamont Enterprise "Without joint custody, children are the biggest losers" Clayton Craddock, National Parents Organization of New York
February 28, 2020 by Clayton Craddock, Chair, National Parents Organization of New York
Why must kids miss out on certain family relationships when parents separate? It’s cruel for children, who love both parents, to suddenly lose access to everything they once knew when their parents no longer want to live together. Does a child’s love and need for both parents suddenly end when parents decide to separate? A couple may no longer want to be together, but a child wants to remain close to their parents. Most children are willing to do what is necessary to be in a relationship with their caregivers as long as it means that they continue to see them as much as possible after separation.
Barring exceptional circumstances, a child’s right to both loving, fit parents should not be allowed to be used as leverage against the other while personal differences are ironed out in a settlement or in family court.
Our culture is due for a drastic paradigm shift. It’s time to stop seeing one parent as the default and the other as just a visitor. These assumptions are often sexist and outdated. If the parents can no longer live together, the next best thing is for the child to have equal time with each parent.
Our current domestic relations law here in New York State makes no effort to require, or even encourage, that healthy, fit, loving parents spend equal time with their child after a separation. Family courts usually pick one parent to “win custody.” However, in the long run, the children are the biggest losers. When one side of their family suddenly is cut off, children have a strained relationship with not only the non-custodial parent, but the extended family as well. For example, they may rarely see their aunts, uncles, cousins and/or grandparents who they used to see frequently. Extended family relationships are often a vital support system.
Child custody cases in New York State today, can last for weeks, months or years. During this time, the child, under current custom, is oftentimes denied the best of both parents while a judgement is determined. By setting a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting for temporary orders, with room for exceptions if one parent is demonstrably unfit, it will shift the starting point to what’s best for children. It will also free a judges’ time to review and consider more challenging matters.
Read the rest at the Altamont Enterprise
February 14, 2020 Lars Larson Show "After a divorce, equal parenting of the child solves a host of social ills" Jim Clark, NPO of Washington
February 9, 2020 Topeka Capital Journal "Kansas Senate passes shared parenting 39 to 1" Will Mitchell, National Parents Organization of Kansas
February 9, 2020 by Will Mitchell/ Special to Gannett Kansas
Last week Kansas joined a growing list of states supporting shared parenting when the Senate passed SB 157 by an overwhelming margin of 39 to 1.
Statewide polling last year showed Kansans supported the pending change by an amazing factor of 40 to 1. These results were verified last week at the Capitol with widespread support among men and women, Republicans and Democrats and across every age and racial group. SB 157 would create a presumption favoring shared parenting time for temporary child custody orders if both parents are considered capable.
This bill now passes to the House of Representatives with tremendous momentum, joining a rapidly growing national trend.
Senator Vic Miller, a former municipal court judge, said he supports equal rights for moms and dads, adding, “In those cases where they are hotly contested, one party wins a lot just by being the first one to the courthouse.” He went on to say he was voting for the bill.
Sen. Eric Rucker, an attorney, also voted for the bill. “Proponents expressed to us a tendency that once judges of this state issue temporary orders along these lines they did not have an equal chance to modify or change the order once it ultimately became permanent.”
Assuming the bill’s likely passage in the House, Kansas is expected to join neighboring Missouri, also poised to pass shared parenting soon.