Illinois’ ‘Right of First Refusal’ Unanimously Passes Both Houses

National Parents Organization - Newsletter June 6, 2013

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June 6, 2013

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child's right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.
Illinois’ ‘Right of First Refusal’ Unanimously Passes Both Houses
By Robert Ferrer, Member, National Parents Organization
Robert Ferrer
Robert Ferrer

In an historic move, Illinois unanimously passed the ‘Right of First Refusal’ on May 22, 2013 (HB2992, 98th Session). Illinois becomes the first state to explicitly call for consideration of the ‘Right of First Refusal’ in a parenting plan or court order. It will be added as Section 602.3 to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The bill is currently on the Governor Pat Quinn’s desk for his expected signature.

Currently, Massachusetts has similar legislation pending to Increasing Parental Involvement with Childcare, HB1343. Also, Indiana and Utah both have legislation which provides a similar opportunity, but does not explicitly call for such consideration.

‘Right of First Refusal’ is a guarantee that anytime a parent needs someone to watch the children, they must ask the other parent first. This gives a parent the opportunity to watch the children when the other parent has them.

As an example, let’s say that the mother of two little boys needs to go on a two day business trip during the week when she has custody. Instead of calling a babysitter or another family member to watch the children, she must first call the boys’ father and give him the right to have the two days with the children. Read more...
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“There is nothing more meaningful that we can do to ensure that our children will flourish than to protect their relationship with both parents. The National Parents Organization focuses on significant, practical changes to family law that will protect every child's right to the full, loving involvement of fit parents. The NPO offers the opportunity to be effective in making changes that will protect the parent-child relationship when parents live apart.”

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Donald C. Hubin, Ph.D., Chair,
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Because, Simply, Children Need a Father
By Stefan Jouret, Esq., Member, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Massachusetts
Stefan Jouret
Stefan Jouret

The following recent opinion piece by Kathleen Parker, a Pulitzer-Prize winning syndicated columnist, continues a line of thought she set forth in her book “Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care” (New York: Random House, 2008). In these publications, Ms. Parker expresses views to which many National Parents Organization members can relate.

“...trends that diminish the importance of fathers from the family unit cannot — or should not — be celebrated.”

Establish an Affiliation in Your State

National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

If you are ready, please contact Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director. Together we can built an affiliate in your state.

The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
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Needed: Thousands of Emails
With Father’s Day approaching, we'd like to request our National Parents Organization members send a Personal Father’s Day Message to Governor Deval Patrick's office regarding the importance of shared parenting for a child after separation/divorce. Read more...
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"I have seen three generations of disregard for the actual mental well-being of children by the state and selfish parents and hope that I can help make a difference for those out there that are forced to go through it."

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