NPO news RELEASES
National Parents Organization Supports Michigan Town Hall-Style Meeting on Child Custody
Aug. 9, 2017
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTS MICHIGAN TOWN HALL-STYLE MEETING ON CHILD CUSTODY
National Parents Organization encourages Michigan residents to attend the “Michigan Shared Custody Public Hearing” on Aug. 21 in Grand Rapids.
The event will focus on educating citizens on the state’s current laws on child custody after divorce or separation as well as details on current Michigan legislation that seeks to turn shared parenting – a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent after divorce or separation – from the exception to the norm. The proposal, House Bill 4691, was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee prior to the legislative summer break.
Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, the bill’s sponsor, is hosting the event. The organization Michigan Shared Custody serves as the night’s sponsor. Parents, attorneys and other state legislators will join Runestad in discussing these potential changes.
“Michigan has an historic opportunity to support legislation that research shows is what children desperately want and need – and that’s not one, but both loving parents actively involved in their lives. And I’m excited for the citizens of our state to learn more about this family friendly proposal on the 21st,” said Grand Rapids mother and grandmother Linda Wright, who serves as Chair of National Parents Organization of Michigan.
National Parents Organization Supports Pew Research Center's Focus on American Fathers
July 29, 2017
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTS PEW RESEARCH CENTER’S FOCUS ON AMERICAN FATHERS
Pew Facts Highlight Need for Family Court Reforms
BOSTON - National Parents Organization points to a recent survey of the Pew Research Center, “6 Facts About American Fathers,” as further confirmation that when it comes to parenting, Americans are decades ahead of the family courts. While ordinary American parents overwhelmingly shared the parenting of their children, the family courts still enforce the worn-out stereotypes of the child-raising mother and the breadwinning father.
Previously, 86% of voters in Massachusetts voted for the proposition that after divorce, shared parenting should be the norm if both parents are fit and there has been no domestic violence. Similar results were obtained in a survey of Maryland voters by a professional polling firm. The Pew results confirm that mothers and fathers both recognize that children do best when both parents are involved in their care.
Despite the convergence of gender roles in parenting, the family courts continue to award sole custody of children to mothers more than 80 percent of the time, and shared physical custody only about eight percent of the time. This is despite the overwhelming research evidence presented at the recent Third International Conference on Shared Parenting that children do better on just about every measure when they have shared parenting after separation or divorce.
Research Cautions Courts from Emphasizing Parental Conflict in Child Custody Arrangements
July 25, 2017
Research Cautions Courts from Emphasizing Parental Conflict in Child Custody Arrangements
National Parents Organization Encourages State Legislators to Heed New Research
Startling new research published in an American Psychological Association journal reveals that how much parents fight has been greatly overemphasized in deciding custody arrangements for children whose parents have separated or divorced. National Parents Organization encourages state legislators and judges to take notice of this latest research.
“Parental conflict has been the single most-cited reason for denying joint physical custody (‘shared parenting’) to good parents. But now, we see that decades of often-forgotten research reveal that parental conflict is far less important in children’s happiness after divorce than previously believed,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “Since numerous other studies show that most children fare much better with shared parenting after parental separation or divorce, the over-emphasis on parental conflict is depriving millions of children of what they most need: the love and guidance of both parents.”
After re-examining the research on parental conflict and custody arrangements, Prof. Linda Nielsen of Wake Forest University concluded that the best research currently available suggested that the quality of the parent–child relationship was more closely linked to children’s outcomes than parental conflict or the quality of the co-parenting relationship. She recognized that this conclusion does not hold for the most severe forms of parental conflict.
In a recent issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Nielsen’s article “Re-examining the Research on Parental Conflict, Co-parenting and Custody Arrangements,” stated: “In other words, the role of conflict has too often been exaggerated and should not be the determining factor in child custody decisions or in regard to JPC [joint physical custody] arrangements except in those situations where the children need protection from an abusive or negligent parent. While continuing our efforts to reduce parent conflict and to improve the co-parenting relationship, we should be equally — or perhaps even more — invested in helping both parents strengthen their relationships with their children and improve their parenting skills.”
National Parents Organization Supports Women in the Workforce
July 10, 2017
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTS WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE
Shared Parenting After Divorce Positions Men and Women Equally as Providers, Caregivers
National Parents Organization appreciates that The Wall Street Journal recently tackled an important family issue with the article “How Can the U.S. Get More Women in the Workforce? Ask Canada.” As the article details, Canada has a significantly higher percentage of women in the workforce compared to the U.S. The article examines what the U.S. can do to follow in Canada’s footsteps to up its percentage, and National Parents Organization would like to add a crucial option to the list: make shared parenting after divorce or separation the norm. Shared parenting is a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time with each parent as possible after divorce or separation.
“Our nation’s antiquated family courts are standing in the way of women’s advancement in the workplace. Instead of awarding shared parenting after parents separate or divorce, the family courts still award sole physical custody to mothers in more than 80 percent of cases. While this feels like a custody battle ‘victory’ at first, over the course of time mothers realize that they have been trapped in the homemaker role,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “Treating mothers as homemakers and fathers as breadwinners who pay child support keeps women in a position of dependency and is out of touch with modern society. Thankfully, shared parenting is not only better for women who want career advancement, but it has been convincingly shown to be better for children too.”
National Parents Organization Thanks Michigan Lawmakers for Moving Shared Parenting Forward
June 23, 2017
NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION THANKS MICHIGAN LAWMAKERS FOR MOVING SHARED PARENTING FORWARD
MICHIGAN HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE PASSES HB 4691
National Parents Organization applauds the Michigan House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee for sending the message that fathers matter every day, not just on the recently celebrated Father’s Day. The message came by way of the committee passing House Bill 4691 on June 20.
“Research shows that children want and need fathers in their lives just as much as mothers after separation or divorce, and I want to thank the House Judiciary Committee for working to bring our state’s child custody laws in line with the data,” said Linda Wright, a mother and grandmother who’s actively involved in the legislation.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Runestad, supports shared parenting – a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time with each parent as possible after divorce or separation. While U.S. Census data shows our family courts still favor sole custody to mom more than 80 percent of the time, Michigan is not alone in advancing shared parenting. States including Arizona, Alaska, Utah and Wisconsin are among the states with laws supportive of shared parenting, and Kentucky and Missouri have passed shared parenting reform in recent months. Plus, more than 20 states have considered shared parenting in recent years, according to The Wall Street Journal. Outside of the U.S., 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 was overwhelmingly supportive of the two-parent model.
Michigan’s bill now heads to the House and Senate.