April 20, 2014
GOVERNOR PATRICK SUPPORTS HISTORIC OVERHAUL OF CUSTODY LEGISLATION JUST IN TIME FOR PARENTAL ALIENATION AWARENESS DAY
BOSTON – As we approach National Parental Alienation Awareness Day (April 25), National Parents Organization applauds Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for his leadership in promoting a historic re-write of the Massachusetts custody statute that encourages shared parenting. If passed by the Legislature, the Governor’s bill will help all children of divorce, but especially those with a parent inclined to alienate the child from the other parent.
“Shared parenting is the most powerful ‘vaccine’ to prevent parental alienation,” said Dr. Ned Holstein, Chair and Founder of National Parents Organization. “Moreover, shared parenting diminishes parental conflict, increases child support and college payments, and leads to better grades, less mental illness, less substance abuse and less delinquency among children. It is a win-win-win for mothers, fathers and children, and best of all, it is free.”
The new legislation was crafted by the Governor’s Working Group on Child-Centered Family Law, which was convened by Governor Patrick 20 months ago. The 18-member group included the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, the Child Advocate for the Commonwealth, multiple bar association representatives, including the Women’s Bar Association, domestic violence organizations, members of the Legislature, and Dr. Holstein representing National Parents Organization. The proposed bill is the first major overhaul of the Massachusetts custody statute in decades.
Governor Patrick recently stated, “They worked together to get good consensus on where the changes in family laws ought to be and the courts were part of it, too…and [they] came to a really good piece of work … and I enthusiastically support it.”
The bill encourages parenting plans in which both parents have more than one-third of the parenting time. The ability of a parent to foster a positive relationship with the other parent would be considered a positive factor in determining parenting time, while interference with the other parent’s access to the child or attempting to involve the child through manipulation would be considered negative factors. These provisions will help prevent parental alienation. At the same time, the bill preserves judicial discretion, the best interest of the child standard, and protections against domestic violence.
“Governor Patrick’s leadership continues to place Massachusetts in the forefront of progressive social legislation,” said Holstein. He noted that in 2004, Massachusetts voters showed overwhelming support (86%) for shared parenting as the preferred outcome if both parents are fit and if there has been no domestic violence. “We now have the researchers, the public, the Governor, and all the major stakeholders in agreement on the benefits of shared parenting for children of divorce. We hope the Legislature will pass this bill and thus help tens of thousands of Massachusetts children for years to come.”
If your organization is interested in covering National Parental Alienation Awareness Day and the historic overhaul of custody law being advanced in Massachusetts, please feel free to contact the following sources for comment to support your reporting:
Ned Holstein, MD, MS
A regular contributor to local and national media, Dr. Holstein is Founder and Chair of the Board of National Parents Organization. Dr. Holstein was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child Centered Family Law, and he was previously appointed by a Massachusetts Chief Justice to a task force charged with reviewing and revising the state’s child support guidelines.
A graduate of Harvard College, Holstein also earned a Master’s degree in psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His medical degree is from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he later served on the faculty as a teacher and researcher.
Contact Ned Holstein
Email: [email protected]
Jill Egizii Jill Egizii is president of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO – USA). In addition, she is an elected official in her home state of Illinois, and she serves on the Illinois Family Law Study Committee. She also has been an advocate for the creation of a White House Council for Men and Boys.
Jill hosts a radio and television show titled Family Matters with her co-host Judge Michele Lowrance. She also has been on the United Cerebral Palsy Board and Executive Committee for 17 years and is a strong voice for children and adults with disabilities. She is the author of the novel “The Look of Love” which deals with parental alienation and divorce. She is the mother of 4 children experiencing parental alienation.
Contact Jill Egizii Telephone: 217.652.5505 Email: [email protected]
About National Parents Organization National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers of divorce and separation. The organization is focused on promoting shared parenting and preserving a child’s strong bond with both parents, which is critically important to their emotional, mental, and physical health. Visit National Parents Organization website at www.nationalparentsorganization.org