NPO news RELEASES
Shared Parenting Can Help Resolve Child Support Woes: August Is Child Support Enforcement Month
August 29, 2016
Twenty-three years ago this month, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed August as National Child Support Enforcement Month, focusing attention on a symptom of a much greater problem: a family court system that discourages shared parenting and gender equality in instances of divorce or separation.
An increasing amount of research shows that family courts should focus on what’s best for children by awarding shared parenting, or 50/50 custody, giving children equal time with both parents in instances of divorce or separation, when both parents are fit. Shared parenting can help resolve the delinquencies associated with child support, as well as problems associated with gender inequality, while ensuring children have the continued love and care of both parents.
The stats are also in favor of shared parenting: Fathers who have little or no contact with their children following a divorce pay about one-third of their child support, while fathers who regularly spend time with their children pay at least 85 percent of their child support, according to “Child-Custody Adjudication: Judicial Functions in the Face of Indeterminacy” by Harvard Law School Professor Robert H. Mnookin.
Women's Equality Day: Shared Parenting Benefits Women After Divorce: More Equalized Approach to Parenting Can Help Close Pay Gap
August 26, 2016
On Women's Equality Day – Friday, August 26 – National Parents Organization encourages family courts throughout the nation to support women's equality efforts by embracing shared parenting.
An increasing amount of research shows that shared parenting, or 50/50 custody, is most beneficial to children’s health and wellbeing in instances of divorce or separation, when both parents are fit. Shared parenting is equally advantageous to mothers and women’s equality. In addition to happier, healthier children, one key benefit is that shared parenting allows moms to pursue ambitious careers and narrow the “pay gap.”
The notorious "pay gap" for women cannot be closed unless we reform the practices of our family courts. After married parents divorce or unmarried parents separate, the family courts assign sole custody of the children to the mother almost 90 percent of the time. Because such divorces and separations are so common, about 30 percent of all mothers in the United States are single moms, each of them having to do perhaps 90 percent of the child rearing.
"This makes it impossible for all but the most energetic and talented to pursue an ambitious career, one that would help close the pay gap. In contrast, widespread shared parenting after separation or divorce would allow millions of mothers to pursue high-paying, ambitious careers. Plus, it would be far better for children to have both parents actively involved in their raising," said Dr. Ned Holstein, National Parents Organization's Founder and Board Chair.
Acting in favor of this commonsense solution that is in the best interest of parents and children alike, a handful of states, including Missouri, Utah, South Dakota, and Minnesota, have passed laws that are beginning to move shared parenting from the exception to the norm. More than 20 states have considered similar proposals.
“Shared parenting is an all-around win,” said Dr. Ned Holstein. “As we pause to celebrate Women’s Equality Day, I can’t think of a better way to help single moms than to make shared parenting the norm after separation or divorce.”
RECENT RESEARCH: SHARED PARENTING VERSUS SINGLE PARENTING
Shared Parenting Data
· 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 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.”
· 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.”
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.
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
A regular contributor to local and national media, Dr. Holstein is Founder and Chair of the Board of National Parents Organization. Dr. Holstein was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child-Centered Family Law, and he was previously appointed by a Massachusetts Chief Justice to a task force charged with reviewing and revising the state’s child support guidelines.
A graduate of Harvard College, Holstein also earned a Master’s degree in psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His medical degree is from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he later served on the faculty as a teacher and researcher.
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.
'More Equalized Approach to Child Custody' to Become Law Aug. 28: State Takes First Step in Supporting Children's Best Interest
August 16, 2016
National Parents Organization (NPO) congratulates the Missouri legislature and Gov. Jay Nixon for acting in the best interest of children by signing the state’s bill promoting shared parenting into law. Previously known as HB 1550, the law “creates a more equalized approach to child custody and visitation,” according to the Governor’s office. The change, which takes effect Aug. 28, is based on the overwhelming amount of research showing shared parenting, or 50/50 custody, after divorce is most beneficial for children’s health and wellbeing, as well as parental and gender equality.
“Children need and benefit from having both parents actively involved in their lives,” said Rep. Kathryn Swan, who supported the bill. “The shared parenting bill is a child-centered bill. It prohibits courts from adopting a cookie-cutter default custody order or plan. Instead, the parent work schedules, residence, location of the school, etc. are determining factors in developing a parenting plan that best meets the needs of the individual child or children.”
Prior to the Governor signing the proposal into law, the shared parenting bill unanimously passed the Senate, was supported in the House 154-2 and was studied by a subcommittee led by Patricia Scaglia, chair of the Missouri Bar Family Law Section Council.
Shared Parenting Bill Passes Massachusetts House: Senate Should Follow Lead in Supporting Children's Best Interest
July 26, 2016
BOSTON -- National Parents Organization (NPO) congratulates the Massachusetts House for acting in the best interest of children by passing the state’s shared parenting bill on July 23. Known as the Child-Centered Family Law, H4544 draws attention to the overwhelming amount of research showing shared parenting after divorce – a key provision of the proposal – is most beneficial for children’s health and wellbeing, as well as parental and gender equality.
Honor National Parents' Day with Shared Parenting: State Legislatures Should Consider Parental Equality, Family Court Reform
July 20, 2016
BOSTON, MA – With National Parents’ Day approaching on Sunday, July 24, National Parents Organization urges citizens and legislators nationwide to recognize the day by supporting shared parenting legislation in numerous states.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton established the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents’ Day, intended for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children,” according to the Congressional resolution. The bipartisan, multiracial and interfaith coalition of religious, civic and elected leaders aimed to promote responsible parenting and draw attention to parental role models, especially for our nation’s children.
Seemingly inherent in the creation of this national day of commemoration is the idea that both parents – mothers and fathers – play an equally vital role in a child’s upbringing, a reality that is reflected in family law reforms currently being considered in more than 20 states, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The evidence showing shared parenting is in the best interest of children when parents divorce or separate is now overwhelming. With this in mind, backing family law reform that seeks to move shared parenting from rare to common in divorce courtrooms is a terrific way to support ‘the best possible environment’ for children,” said Dr. Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization.