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NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION |PRESS RELEASE
January 4, 2018

NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION URGES MISSOURI LAWMAKERS TO MOVE SHARED PARENTING FORWARD
New Family Court Reform Proposal Builds on 2016 Law

National Parents Organization applauds Missouri lawmakers for proposing legislation that helps children whose parents divorce or separate.

As The Washington Post reported, more than 20 states have recently considered legislation supportive of shared parenting – a child custody arrangement in which a child spends as close to equal time as possible with each parent. And Missouri has a new bill that’s supportive of shared parenting for fit parents in instances where domestic violence isn’t an issue. Rep. Kathy Swan is sponsoring the bill.

“Thanks to Representative Swan, the state of Missouri has the opportunity to improve children’s educational achievements, decrease their use of drugs, give them a greater sense of security, increase their child support payments, and improve their overall health and adjustment without any cost to the taxpayer – all by passing shared parenting into law,” said Linda Reutzel, Chair of National Parents Organization of Missouri. “With these benefits to hundreds of thousands of Missouri children in mind, we urge state lawmakers to make this proposal a top priority in 2018.”

The legislation, HB1667 and SB645, calls for a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting, meaning that the court should order the two-parent solution unless a judge has reason to believe the arrangement goes against the best interest of the child. The bill builds on the state child custody law from 2016 that encourages shared parenting. The proposal aligns with nearly 60 studies showing that most children with shared parenting benefit from the arrangement when compared to children in the primary care of just one parent (see “Recent Research” below).

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National Parents Organization | Press Release
December 20, 2017
HOLIDAY SEASON CAN BE SAD FOR MANY CHILDREN
Washington Post Reports on Nationwide Reform Supportive of Shared Parenting After Divorce

Despite national headlines supporting shared parenting as the best arrangement for children whose parents are apart, it remains unusual following divorce or separation. As a result, National Parents Organization emphasizes that the holidays can be heartbreaking for children.

“The holiday season can be magical for children. Sadly, it can also be crushing for them when they are forbidden to see one of the parents they love because of family court decisions that give sole custody to the other parent,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “For most such children, the best Christmas present they could possibly have would be a simple change in the custody law from a preference for sole custody to a preference for shared custody. Nothing would light up their eyes more brightly than having lots of time with both mom and dad.”

As The Washington Post’s recent front-page article headlined “More than 20 states in 2017 considered laws to promote shared custody of children after divorce” revealed, about half our state legislatures this year have considered bills supportive of shared parenting. As the Post noted, “Many of the legislative gains recently have been propelled by the National Parents Organization…”

Support of shared parenting is inspired by the scientific evidence showing children do best with shared parenting when their parents divorce or separate. 

“A meta-analysis of research on the effects of shared parenting on children in 15 countries also showed benefits across a range of emotional, behavioral and physical health measures,” The Post reported.

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National Parents Organization | Press Release
December 14, 2017

THE WASHINGTON POST SHOWCASES NATIONWIDE SHARED PARENTING MOVEMENT
Article Highlights National Parents Organization’s ‘Legislative Gains’

National Parents Organization thanks The Washington Post for shining a light on efforts to move shared parenting from the exception to the norm following divorce and separation, and encourages lawmakers throughout the nation to support the trend.

The Post’s Dec. 12 front page article, headlined “More than 20 states in 2017 considered laws to promote shared custody of children after divorce,” revealed about half our nation’s state legislatures this year have considered bills supportive of shared parenting, rather than the sole custody status quo. The Post included a map showing the 25 states that have considered proposals. A handful of states already have laws supportive of shared parenting.

“Many of the legislative gains recently have been propelled by the National Parents Organization, a group with roots in the fathers’ rights movement but now a broadened focus on children’s rights and parental equality,” the article said.

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National Parents Organization | Press Release
December 4, 2017


SHARED PARENTING OFFERS SOLUTION TO ‘HORRIFIC’ PARENTAL ALIENATION CRISIS
State Legislative Committee, Psychologist Examine the Impact

HARRISBURG, PA – Following the Pennsylvania Bipartisan House Children and Youth Committee hearing on parental alienation’s devastating impact, National Parents Organization urges state lawmakers to back family court reform supportive of shared parenting after divorce or separation.

During the hearing, Dr. Craig Childress, a licensed psychologist from California specializing in children and families, educated the committee on parental alienation – when one parent essentially erases the other parent from the child’s life, he explained, by turning the child against that parent.

“It is a horrific, intense conflict that moves through the child and destroys the family,” Dr. Childress said, adding that it is tantamount to child abuse. “And no one is doing anything about it.”

In turn, National Parents Organization recommends action: pass legislation that encourages family court judges to order shared parenting – where each parent spends as close to equal time as possible with the child when parents are fit.

“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, which means shared parenting can prevent vindictive parents from succeeding in their attempts to alienate a child from the other parent,” said Stephen Meehan, Chair of National Parents Organization of Pennsylvania. “However, far too often, the courts order sole custody to one parent after a bitter, winner-take-all custody battle. Because the non-custodial parent often has so little time with the child, the winning parent is empowered to poison the child’s mind against the ‘absent’ parent, creating heartbreak for child and parent.”

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National Parents Organization | Press Release
November 27, 2017

MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL JUSTICE BILL FAILS TO ADDRESS ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
National Parents Organization Asks Lawmakers to Consider Shared Parenting Post-Divorce

While National Parents Organization commends Massachusetts legislators for prioritizing crime prevention, the organization’s leaders believe the current criminal justice bill fails to include a key solution: shared parenting, versus sole custody, post-divorce.

To understand this simple solution, first examine a fact: 85 percent of prisoners were raised in single-parent households without fathers. 

“There is abundant evidence supporting the idea that fatherlessness is a potent cause of crime,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Chair of Boston-based National Parents Organization. “Denzel Washington is just the latest in the parade of people who know and understand this.”

Dr. Holstein continued: “This should provoke optimism, since a simple solution is available – reform our family courts to encourage shared parenting, as opposed to the alarming family court status quo, where sole custody outcomes prevail more than 80 percent of the time. Allow fit fathers to be involved in their children’s lives, and the children will grow up in healthier ways. We have ignored this simple remedy for years, one that is without cost to taxpayers.”

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