April 25, 2020 The Southeast Missourian "Legislature should resume shared parenting progress" Linda Reutzel, Chair, National Parents Organization of Missouri
April 25, 2020 by Linda Reutzel, Chair, National Parents Organization of Missouri
Given the coronavirus upending our way of life, Americans are depending on elected and appointed officials to safeguard our health and economy. However, we as citizens also have the responsibility to stand up for our American way of life. This means we have to be even more vigilant about protecting our freedoms and the rule of law.
When it comes to the social justice issue of shared parenting, our momentum in Missouri before the crisis was right on target to pass this session. There is still no reason that passage shouldn't still occur.
Thanks to the efforts of two of Cape Girardeau's finest, state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, and state Rep. Kathy Swan, the momentum for their shared parenting bills is still there.
Of course, the priority should be to safeguard all Missourians health and financial well-being. While we want to be sure that our legislators are safe, social distancing is not an excuse to end the debate on such important legislation.
When the Missouri session resumes, a way to continue the regular order of business must be found.
What ultimately matters: Children need and want equal access to both parents and both extended families.
April 3, 2020 Nashville Christian Family "Kids Caught in the Middle… Parents Learning to 'Share' – Is It Even Possible?" Matt Hale, National Board of Directors
April 3, 2020 by Tammy Daughtry, MMFT
In working with divided families it is often common for one parent to have 80% of the parenting time and the shared children only see the other parent 20% of time. Researchers have looked at these dynamics for years and have varied outcomes; however, most research shows children will thrive most with a 50/50 shared parenting schedule. Having been a divorced mom for almost two decades, I lived through that “timeshare” with my daughter who was just one when we divided. I am happy to report that although I missed her when she was away, she had a great childhood with equal time between her home with me and her home with her dad. At the age of 20 she reports that she does not feel like a child from a “broken family” or even a “divorced family.” She reports that she has four adults who love her and six step siblings in her ever-growing extended family.
KY is the first state in the country to create a legal presumption for joint custody in divorce proceedings. In April 2019 it was prioritized and finalized. It was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin on April 26, 2019 and took effect on July 14, 2019. They have also deemed April 26 as “Shared Parenting Day in Kentucky” to commemorate the importance of equal parenting on an annual basis.
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