November 6, 2017
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION SEEKS CHANGES TO OHIO CHILD SUPPORT BILL
Bill Should Support Shared Parenting, Best Interests of Children
While Ohio’s child support bill proposes some long-overdue reform, National Parents Organization opposes the legislation and seeks changes that better align with what research overwhelmingly shows is best for children.
National Parents Organization’s primary concern with SB 125 is that it doesn’t support shared parenting, where both parents are fully engaged in the day-to-day, hands-on raising of children after divorce or separation.
“Because more than 30 years of research have shown that this is usually the best arrangement for children, it should be the default outcome when parents separate. But SB 125 does nothing to encourage this sort of equal co-parenting. Instead, it creates contrary incentives and treats parents who are sharing in the raising of their children unfairly,” said Don Hubin, Ph.D., Chair of National Parents Organization of Ohio.
Specifically, National Parents Organization concludes that the bill’s provision of a “standard parenting time adjustment” to provide for the children when they are with the child support obligor—which is often 25% - 35% of the time—is based on a flawed methodology and a mathematical error, resulting in children routinely under-supported in one of their homes.
And, for what it considers “extended parenting time”—more than 40% with the child support obligor—SB 125 requires only that a court consider a substantial adjustment in the child support.
“Child support is complex. But the basics are simple: both parents have an obligation to support their children. The combined child support obligations are for the benefit of the children. Those funds should “follow the child”—they should be apportioned between the children’s two homes based on expected child related expenses,” Hubin said. “SB 125 violates these basic principles of child support.”
RECENT RESEARCH: SHARED PARENTING VERSUS SINGLE PARENTING
Shared Parenting Data
· The Journal of the American Psychological Association published a paper titled “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report” in 2014, and the conclusions were endorsed by 110 eminent authorities around the world. Authored by Dr. Richard Warshak at the University of Texas, the paper concluded, “... shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages, including very young children.”
· In 2016, Dr. Warshak wrote, “Two years after its publication, the conclusions and recommendations of the Warshak consensus report remain supported by science.” He also wrote, “The paper has been translated into at least eighteen languages and has informed legislative deliberations throughout the U.S. and parliamentary deliberations in several countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Finland, Romania, Croatia, and Sweden. Two years after its publication, the consensus report continues to be one of the most downloaded papers from the journal’s website.” He added, “The list of endorsers and their stature and accomplishments reflect the field’s general acceptance of the consensus report’s findings as rooted in settled science from more than four decades of research directly relevant to this topic, including seminal studies by many of the endorsers.”
· The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published a 150,000-person study titled “Fifty moves a year: Is there an association between joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems in children?” in May 2015 that concluded shared parenting after divorce or separation is in the best interest of children’s health because the arrangement lowers their stress levels.
· The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) published the recommendations of 32 family law experts in 2014, and the group 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.”
· In December, 2016, The American Psychological Association published research by William V. Fabricius of Arizona State University in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law entitled, “Should Infants and Toddlers Have Frequent Overnight Parenting Time With Fathers? The Policy Debate and New Data.” Prof Fabricius’ findings provide “… strong support for policies to encourage frequent overnight parenting time [up to and including 50/50 overnights –Ed] for infants and toddlers [even younger than one year –Ed], because the benefits [for children-Ed] associated with overnights also held for parents who initially agreed about overnights as well as for those who disagreed and had the overnight parenting plan imposed over 1 parent’s objections.” Fabricius shared details on his findings during the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017, a May 29-30, 2017 event in Boston, Massachusetts hosted by National Parents Organization and the International Council on Shared Parenting.
Single Parenting Data
According to federal statistics from sources including 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% of teen suicides;
· 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions;
· 71% of high school drop-outs;
· 75% of children in chemical abuse centers;
· 85% of those in prison;
· 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders; and
· 90% of homeless and runaway children.
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. National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws, and in 2017, National Parents Organization hosted the International Conference on Shared Parenting. Visit the National Parents Organization website at www.