|F & F Passes 7 Bills in 2010, as Schwarzenegger Signs 3 More F & F Bills
This year Fathers and Families led the passage of seven different family law bills nationwide, as Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed the remaining three California F & F bills. F & F was also instrumental in helping defeat three harmful bills. The seven bills we were instrumental in passing include:
1. Alimony Reform (CA. SB 1482): Parents who face alimony increases after their child support ends will now be able to demand a vocational examination for their ex-spouses, and judges are required to calculate alimony based on the examiner’s estimate of the ex-spouse’s earning capacity.
Legislative work isn’t just about passing good bills—it’s also about defeating harmful ones.
2. Child Custody Protection for Military Parents (CA. AB 2416): Creates a rebuttable presumption that upon a servicemember’s return from deployment, child custody and visitation orders will revert to the original order. Allows judges to award a deployed parent’s parenting time to grandparents or stepparents so that deployed parents can’t have their contact with their children severed by the custodial parent. This also helps to maintain and nurture children’s bonds with their deployed parent’s family.
3. Child Custody/Visitation Reform (CA. SB 1188): Will help prevent family court litigants from using a parent’s disability as a way to deprive them of child custody or visitation.
4 & 5. Protection Against Family Court Financial Abuses (Arizona HB 2358 & Indiana HB 1165) F & F helped pass bills in both Arizona and Indiana which protected disabled veterans from family court financial abuses. Both bills were inspired by and modeled on SB 285, a bill we helped pass in California in 2009.
6. Child Support Reform (CA. SB 580) The high cost of medical care is a burden for everybody, but the healthcare obligations family court judges throw onto noncustodial parents can be devastating. SB 580 will ensure that noncustodial parents aren’t saddled with an unreasonably high percentage of their children’s medical care costs.
7. Child Support Reform (CA. SB 1355) Many young fathers who were incarcerated for nonviolent offenses face crushing child support debts which accrued (at 10% interest) while they were behind bars. These debts make it difficult for them to play a meaningful role in their children’s lives. This bill suspends child support from accruing while the obligor is institutionalized.
There is a nationwide reactionary backlash against recognition of Parental Alienation, and California is the battleground where it is being fought. The California National Organization for Women and the powerful, well-funded Center for Judicial Excellence in Northern California are leading the backlash, and Fathers and Families has been at the forefront of fighting it.
Bills F & F helped defeat this year include:
1. Parental Alienation in Family Court (CA. AB 612): This bill would have prevented target parents of Parental Alienation from even uttering the words “Parental Alienation” in family court, and custody evaluators and mediators would have been prohibited from citing alienation.
As good as 2010 has been, 2011 will be better. We have an ambitious, exciting legislative agenda for 2011 on which we will soon be soliciting member input. The Fathers & Families model works. We want you to be a part of it–to get involved, please click here.
2. Custody Evaluators and Parental Alienation (CA. AB 2475): A complicated bill but the bottom line is that it would have led to child custody evaluators and mediators being punished for making findings of Parental Alienation.
3. Children and Medical Care (MA HB 930): Fathers & Families opposed and testified against HB 930, a bill supported by the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association that would have further marginalized noncustodial parents in relation to their children’s medical needs.
Together with you in the love of our children,
Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers and Families
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers and Families
|F & F in the Media
|F & F of Ohio’s Don Hubin Discusses SB 292 on Cincinnati Radio; Ohio Senator Bill Seitz Responds to F & F’s Criticism
Donald Hubin, Ph.D., Chairman of Fathers and Families of Ohio’s Executive Committee, appeared on the Scott Sloan Show on WLW AM 700 in Cincinnati on Monday to discuss SB 292, a new Ohio bill that will raise child support. The next day Sloan had the bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), on his show and asked him in detail about SB 292.
Seitz pointed to a few positive aspects of the bill–aspects which F & F has previously publicly acknowledged–but seems to be confused about the way the bill will raise child support levels. Sloan told Seitz about some of Hubin’s criticisms of the bill, and also about the flood of callers he had Monday who told him that they were unable to get downward modifications on their child support when they were laid off or had their wages cut.
Sloan also told Seitz about the callers who had said that their exes violate their visitation rights with impunity. He cited one who said he lives five minutes away from the child for whom he had been paying child support for many years, but has not seen his child in five years. The child’s mother refuses visitation, in violation of court orders, but the court doesn’t enforce it.
Seitz was sympathetic, saying “There ought to be a more expeditious way” to enforce visitation.
During the Tuesday show many fathers, including some Fathers and Families of Ohio supporters, called in with horror stories about the abusive child support system. Interestingly, a grandmother and a second woman who is a great-grandmother both detailed the injustices of the system towards their child support obligor family members.
To participate in F & F of Ohio’s campaign against SB 292, please click here.
To listen to the audio archive of the interview with Don, please click here. Sloan devoted a full two hours to the subject–to listen to the second hour, click here.
To listen to the audio archive of the interview with Senator Seitz, please click here and click on “Scott Sloan 10/19/10 Hour 2.”
Don Hubin has written a response to Seitz's comments--to read them, click here.
F & F Member Tells Boston Herald—'The Brutal Practice of Awarding Custody of Minor Children to 1 Parent Must End'