F & F Alimony Reform Bill Goes to Governor; Schwarzenegger Signs

View this email with images
Be sure to add [email protected] to your address book or safe sender list so our emails get to your inbox.

Fathers and Families

F & F Alimony Reform Bill Goes to Governor; Schwarzenegger Signs
F & F's SB 1188
; New Column in LA Daily News
August 24, 2010
Top Stories
Fathers and Families Legislative Updates

CA Legislature Passes F & F's SB 1482 to Protect Alimony Obligors from Abuses

Many alimony obligors assert that their exes are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, or are artificially lowering their earning capacity because they'd rather keep collecting alimony.

Senator Rod Wright's (D-Los Angeles) SB 1482, which recently passed the full California legislature and is now on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk for signature, helps solve this problem. The bill allows obligors to request vocational examinations for the recipients of alimony payments, and requires judges to follow the examiner's estimate of the recipient's earning ability when calculating alimony.

If you are an alimony and/or child support obligor, we want to hear from you—please fill out our form here.  To learn more about the bill, including our Support Letter to Assemblymember Mike Feuer, Chair, Assembly Committee on the Judiciary, please click here.

Victory! Governor Schwarzenegger Signs F & F's SB 1188 (Child Custody Reform)

We often hear from parents who have been driven to the margins of their children's lives because their disability/partial disability is being used to deny them custody or visitation. Existing California family law codes do not address the issue of disabled parents, leaving the door open for unnecessary and often expensive litigation, even in cases where the disabled parent had been successfully parenting the children for many years prior to the separation or divorce.

buttonWhile some people with disabilities are truly unable to care for their children, many are more than capable of doing so. California Senator Rod Wright's (D-Los Angeles) SB 1188 will protect the child custody and visitation rights of parents with disabilities. Fathers and Families has joined with Disability Rights California, one the nation's largest and most respected disability advocacy organizations, and the American Retirees Association in co-sponsoring SB 1188. Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1188 yesterday. It will take effect on January 1, 2011.

Thanks to all of you who participated in our campaign to pass the bill.

Action Alert--Ask Gov. Schwarzenegger to Sign AB 2416—Child Custody Reform to Help Parents Who Serve

Many divorced or separated military servicemembers have painful but preventable family law problems. California AB 2416 will help protect the loving bonds that servicemembers share with their children—to write a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger asking him to sign AB 2416, click here.

Please send your letter whether you are a California resident or not. Your letter will be hand-delivered to the Governor's office by our Sacramento legislative representative. You may use our form letter or write your own.

F & F Supports CA AB 2700 To Reduce Divorce-Related Litigation for Couples

Fathers and Families takes no official position on gay marriage. However, we do believe that all family court litigants deserve to be treated fairly, regardless of sexual orientation. During this legislative session, state legislator and Speaker pro Tempore of the California Assembly, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) introduced AB 2700–the Separation Equity Act.

We played no role in the origination of this bill, but we were asked to support it, and in our official support letter we wrote:

One of Fathers and Families' goals is to reduce divorce-related litigation, conflict, and expense. One divorce proceeding is bad, but currently some California gays and lesbians may have to have two proceedings for the same dissolution. For couples who are currently in both a domestic partnership and a marriage and want to split up, current law requires two separate proceedings. This is a waste of time and money, both for the people involved and the courts.

We support AB 2700 because it will create a consolidated proceeding for dissolving both the Domestic Partnership and the marriage.
Our full support letter can be read here.

Team Fathers and Families to Participate in 5K Run/Walk

Sponsor Team Fathers & Families' Runner Rick Bell!

Rick BellFathers and Families' advocates are participating in the September 5 “Cheetah Run” 5K Run/Walk at the Cincinnati Zoo and raising funds to support the programs of Fathers and Families. Join our supporters from all over the country with your gift to fund our vital family court reform work.

To sponsor Rick Bell and the team, click here. Here's why Rick joined Team Fathers and Families in running to raise money for our organization:

"I experienced first-hand how the family court system and the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency mistreat well-intentioned fathers. Fathers without criminal records or histories of abuse should be presumed to be as valuable in their children's lives as their mothers. Family courts presume quite differently.

"Like many good dads, I didn't have the $10,000+ needed to finance an expensive legal fight in order to win an equal part in my child's life. I had lost my business due to the recession and was paying 40% of my income in child support. Because of this I was forced to accept visitation rights only and to have little say in my son's future.

"It is a deep injustice to my son and to myself. Kids are suffering from these policies. Change will only come by building a strong, well-funded national advocacy group...I researched Fathers and Families and was impressed by its professionalism and its ability to pass legislation."

To sponsor Rick and the team, click here or on the Donate icon below.


If you prefer to contribute by check, please make your check out to "Fathers and Families", put "Rick Bell" in the for/description line, and mail your check to:
Fathers & Families
20 Park Plaza, Suite 628
Boston, MA 02116
To learn more about Rick and why he's joined Team Fathers and Families in running to raise money for our organization, click here.

Kids & Dads
Billy Ocean"I took a career break to raise my own kids and I'd do it again. You have kids once and if you miss that period, it never comes back again.

"My wife, Judy, and I have three children and there was so much to deal with, my wife couldn't do it all by herself. I'd been more successful than I ever imagined, and I remember sitting in a hotel in America and thinking: what am I doing here?

"So I took a break, maybe for longer than I thought. And now my daughter Cherie is one of my backing singers."

--Grammy Award winning singer/performer Billy Ocean

We're Reforming the Family Court System—Join Us!

Missed an E-Newsletter? Read Them All Here

F & F in the News
F & F, DRC Write Column for LA Daily News in Support of Our SB 1188  

LA Daily News

Disability Rights California's Advocacy Director Margaret Johnson, Esq. and Fathers and Families Executive Director Glenn Sacks co-authored the column Senate bill would protect rights of disabled parents (Los Angeles Daily News, 8/18/10) laying out the case for SB 1188. This bill to prevent family courts from violating the child custody and visitation rights of disabled parents. The Daily News is Los Angeles' 2nd largest newspaper, and our piece was the lead op-ed. In it we wrote:

Currently under the laws relating to child custody, a disability can be used as a reason to deny custody or visitation. This can lead to unnecessary and expensive litigation, even in cases where the parent with a disability had been successfully parenting the children for many years prior to a separation or divorce.

Nationally, one in six parents is disabled. They're poorer on average than nondisabled parents, and their ability to fight long, expensive court battles to defend their relationships with their children is limited.

Timothy Sayre, a San Diego father of three, hopes that SB 1188 will help parents like him. Sayre's three children were moved out of state by their mother in 2002 but, as part of a visitation agreement, they always spent their summers with Sayre. Sayre became disabled almost two years ago, and spent much of this spring battling to maintain his summer parenting time. After a difficult court battle during which his disability was used against him, Sayre lost some of his parenting time. He says:

"I use a wheelchair but I can still parent my children. My time with my 14-year-old daughter was cut way back, and I lost time with my sons, too. Not only should I have not lost this time, but I shouldn't have had to fight this battle to begin with. Do my children love me and need me less because I use a wheelchair?"
To read the full column, click here.

What's Happening
British Conductor Hillier: ‘My rights as a father have been comprehensively trampled into the ground'  

MI Statute: Child Custody Orders Must ‘Promote a Strong Relationship Between the Child and the Parent' 

Author Louis de Bernieres: ‘Deep, Bitter Anger at Being Treated so Outrageously' by Family Court

Georgia Man in Legal Limbo Following Abuse Claim

Husband Records Abuse by His Wife; Gets Custody of Son

Case Shows Why DV Must Be Viewed as Gender-Neutral

Tacoma DV Advocate to Face Discipline for Assisting Mother in Children's Abduction

Study: What's True of Men is True of Women - There's a Tradeoff Between Career and Family

Study: Sons Benefit Later in Life from Close Relationship with Father

Study: Male and Female DV Perpetrators Similar Psychologically

German High Court Voids Discrimination Against Single Fathers

Anti-Dad Backlash to Court Rulings Begins in Germany

Japan Set to Ratify UN Convention on Child Abduction

Aussie PM Candidates Short Dads on Parental Leave

Join Fathers and Families
Fathers and Families
Fathers and Families is a family court reform organization with a comprehensive strategy, an impressive history of legislative and fundraising success, and the largest reach of any advocacy group of its kind:

This email contains a promotional message from the non-profit organization Fathers and Families.
© 2010. Fathers and Families. All Rights Reserved.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Volunteer Testimonial

"National Parents Organization focuses on significant, practical changes to public policy and family law that will protect every child’s right to the full, loving involvement of fit parents. National Parents Organization of Florida welcomes your involvement to affect the changes necessary to protect a quality parent-child relationship when parents live apart."

By Troy D. Matson, JD, Chair, Florida Executive Committee