June 15, 2017
FATHER’S DAY: NPO ENCOURAGES DADS TO CONTINUE THE SHARED PARENTING PUSH
BOSTON – This Father’s Day, National Parents Organization would like to recognize the millions of fathers who are fighting for shared parenting – the right to continue to be active and loving dads after separation or divorce.
“It is not just about your ‘rights,’ although there is no reason a good father should not have the same rights as a good mother. It is also about what is best for your children, since over 50 research studies from numerous countries show that children with shared parenting on average have much better lives than the millions of children in the sole custody of one parent,” said Ned Holstein, MD, National Parents Organization’s Founder and Board Chair.
Dr. Holstein’s message to dads lands at a time when U.S. Census data shows our family courts still favor sole custody to mom more than 80 percent of the time, despite the similarity of gender roles in modern couples.
“I know the battle for legal equality in family court feels like a frustrating and uphill battle. But dads, don’t give up. For the sake of one-third of our nation’s children – that’s how many kids are now affected by child custody issues – I encourage you to keep up this good fight,” Dr. Holstein said.
Holstein encourages fathers to stay the course for many reasons including these three:
1. Shared parenting advocates are slowly winning. Although shared parenting remains uncommon in the United States, it is increasing steadily. Arizona, Alaska, Utah and Wisconsin already have good-enough laws. In just the last six months, Missouri enacted a shared parenting bill, and the Kentucky legislature unanimously passed a bill mandating shared parenting in temporary orders. Plus, about 25 U.S. states have proposed laws in recent years to implement it, according to The Wall Street Journal. Overseas, shared parenting has been the norm in Sweden and Australia for years, and research presented last month at the 2017 International Conference on Shared Parenting in Boston showed it is working well.
2. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that shared parenting — a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time with each parent as possible — is in the best interest of most children when their parents split.
Last month, more than 35 child development experts representing more than 18 countries and 40 years of research updated these findings during the conference in Boston. Previous findings included:
· In a 150,000-person study published in The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, researchers concluded that shared parenting is in the best interest of children’s health because the arrangement lowers their stress levels.
· 32 family law experts in the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts concluded, “Children’s best interests are furthered by parenting plans that provide for continuing and shared parenting relationships that are safe, secure, and developmentally responsive and that also avoid a template calling for a specific division of time imposed on all families.”
3. Sole custody more often has devastating impacts on children. Consider that, according to federal statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, children raised by single parents account for:
63 percent of teen suicides;
70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions;
71 percent of high school dropouts;
75 percent of children in chemical abuse centers;
85 percent of those in prison;
85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders; and
90 percent of homeless and runaway children.
“So dads, this Sunday, resolve to continue to fight for shared parenting reforms in your state, taking satisfaction in knowing that this is one of the most powerful things you can do as a man for your children and America’s children, and that we are slowly winning this battle,” Dr. Holstein said.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or 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. In 2014, National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws. Visit the National Parents Organization website at www.nationalparentsorganization.org