NPO news RELEASES
Massachusetts House passes shared parenting bill
July 13, 2018
MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE PASSES SHARED PARENTING LEGISLATION
Senate support necessary for children to see law's benefits
BOSTON — National Parents Organization commends the Massachusetts House of Representatives for passing an important child custody bill that not only encourages shared parenting in instances of divorce but also stands to improve the health and well-0being of thousands of children throughout the state.
Eighteen distinguished stakeholders former Gov. Deval Patrick appointed to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child-Centered Family Law, including NPO’s Dr. Ned Holstein and Richard Fucillo, helped draft House Bill 3090, which now goes before the Senate. This legislation specifically takes into account the children's best interest — a phrase specifically used seven times in the text of the bill — and encourages outcomes of shared parental responsibility when possible while completely preserving judicial discretion.
Virginia Makes Family Court Reform History
May 21, 2018
VIRGINIA MAKES FAMILY COURT REFORM HISTORY
Governor Northam Supports Shared Parenting Bill; Ceremonial Signing Expected
RICHMOND, VA. – National Parents Organization is excited to announce another historic event: As of midnight, May 18, 2018, Virginia’s House Bill 1351 became law (effective date July 1, 2018).
This opens the door to a more robust shared parenting law in the future.
Delegate Glenn Davis, R-House District 84, sponsored the bill (HB 1351) and stated, “I am proud to have led the first successful passing of any kind of shared parenting bill in the history of the Commonwealth. This bill represented all Virginian families and children and was supported by both political parties, as well as The Family Foundation and the Family Law Coalition.”
This law is the first step in a longer journey and both the House and Senate unanimously passed it, which is a testament to its bipartisan nature. Importantly, this law leaves in place existing provisions that account for histories of domestic violence or other abuse.
National Parents Organization Welcomes Petra Maxwell as Executive Director
May 11, 2018
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION WELCOMES PETRA MAXWELL AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
National Parents Organization is thrilled to announce that Petra Maxwell, JD, is its new executive director.
“I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of ensuring that our legal system is more responsive to the true needs of children and parents after divorce. Unfortunately, many states still have antiquated laws about child custody and child support that have the effect of unfairly punishing the non-custodial parent. In the end, the people that are hurt the most are the children because they need both parents in their lives,” Maxwell said. “I am excited by the mission of National Parents Organization and its potential to impact hundreds of thousands of people through its mission.”
Ned Holstein, MD, the founder and board chair of National Parents Organization, said: “I speak for everyone involved with National Parents Organization and family court reform in saying we are elated to welcome Petra. With her experience and dedication to our mission, I’m confident National Parents Organization will rocket to new heights under her leadership.”
National Parents Organization Celebrates Landmark Kentucky Shared Parenting Law
April 26, 2018
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION CELEBRATES LANDMARK KENTUCKY SHARED PARENTING LAW
With Governor Bevin’s Signature, Kentucky Now Leads the Nation in Shared Parenting After Divorce
FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY -- Thanks to Kentucky legislators and Gov. Bevin, Kentucky now leads the nation in protecting children’s best interests when parents divorce or separate. The historic moment arrived on Thursday, April 26, when Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB528, a bill stating equal parenting time is best for children.
“April 26 goes down in history as the day Kentucky became the first true shared parenting state in the United States. Kentucky, more than any other state, can now say it does everything it can to give children two loving parents after divorce – just as our children deserve,” said Matt Hale, Chair of National Parents Organization in Kentucky, who led the reform effort for five years. “Research overwhelmingly shows children want and need both parents after separation. Our state lawmakers responded by aligning state laws with the research. This represents a common sense yet unprecedented move. Our lawmakers and primary sponsors Jason Petrie and Kevin Bratcher should be commended.”
While a handful of states have laws supportive of shared parenting and about 25 states have considered similar reform in the past year, Kentucky’s new law goes the furthest by establishing a “presumption, rebuttable by a preponderance of evidence, that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child.” This means only fit parents will receive shared parenting. For instance, parents with a domestic violence finding will not qualify for equal parenting time.
The law passed the Kentucky House and Senate before Gov. Bevin signed it – the law takes effect in June.
National Parents Organization Works to Prevent Parental Alienation
April 16, 2018
National Parents Organization Works to Prevent Parental Alienation
April 25 Marks Parental Alienation Awareness Day
Amid global concerns surrounding the devastating impact of parental alienation, National Parents Organization encourages lawmakers throughout the U.S. to back family court reform supportive of shared parenting after divorce.
The concerns are amplified this month, considering April 25 marks the annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Parental alienation is defined by one parent essentially erasing the other parent from the child’s life by turning the child against that parent.
“It is difficult for anyone to turn a child against a fit and loving parent who plays an active role in a child’s life. Shared parenting can prevent attempts to alienate a child from a fit parent. However, far too often, the family courts order sole custody to one parent after a bitter, winner-take-all custody battle instead of insuring children have both loving, fit parents in their lives,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “Often, a non-custodial parent has so little time with the child, the winning parent is empowered to knowingly or unknowingly marginalize the child from a fit and loving parent, creating heartbreak for child and parent. The marginalization alienates children and the parents.”