2 Victories—Crucial Bill from Opponents of Recognizing Parental Alienation Defeated; Schwarzenegger Signs SB 580

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

2 Victories—Crucial Bill from Opponents of Recognizing Parental Alienation Defeated; Schwarzenegger Signs SB 580
July 26, 2010
Top Stories
Victory—Crucial Bill from Opponents of Recognizing Parental Alienation Defeated!

Fathers and Families and its legislative allies have succeeded in killing one of the worst family law bills in modern history—California's AB 612. The bill, put forward by the well-funded advocacy group Center for Judicial Excellence (and supported by the California National Organization for Women), would have banned Parental Alienation from being mentioned in any way, shape, or form in a California family court. Because of California's tremendous influence in shaping the laws of other states, this loss would have led to a mushrooming of similarly damaging legislation in other states.

Fathers and Families' legislative representative Michael Robinson helped cobble together a coalition of family law professional organizations and experts to oppose the bill. We were able to bottle the bill up in the Senate Judiciary Committee last year and keep it there until last week, when it died. To learn more about the bill, see our co-authored column Preventing courts from considering parental alienation will harm kids (Capitol Weekly, 2/25/10).

The defeat of AB 612 is a victory for the family court reform movement and for children everywhere. Victories cost money, as does our deep, professional involvement inside the political system—please support our successful work by making a tax-deductible contribution by clicking here.

This is the second time in two months that Fathers & Families has been instrumental in defeating a Center for Judicial Excellence bill—in June, we helped kill AB 2475, which was also related to Parental Alienation. To learn more, see F & F Helps Defeat Radical Bill from Opponents of Recognizing Parental Alienation.

Whereas Fathers and Families' family court reform bills have been moving swiftly through the California legislature, the Center for Judicial Excellence is now 0-2 in the 2009-2010 legislative session.

The CJE claims that there's a "crisis" in family courts, and that courts are handing over custody of children to physically and sexually abusive fathers. They promote reforms which will make it easier to deny parents shared custody or visitation rights based on unsubstantiated abuse claims. As we've noted before, there is no empirical basis supporting this claim. The vast majority of the cases that groups like the CJE put forward as alleged examples of this "crisis" of abusive fathers winning child custody are being badly misrepresented–to learn more, click here.

The events surrounding AB 2475 and AB 612 are further validation of Fathers and Families' emphasis on the need for the family court reform movement to employ full-time legislative representatives and engage in the political process on a professional level. To support this work with your tax-deductible gift, please click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers and Families

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Chair of the Board, Fathers and Families

Your Letter Wanted: Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Board Demands that Family Courts Enforce Visitation Orders

Dealer"Youngsters need two loving parents in their lives, and if a father has been deemed fit by the courts and is ready and willing to be a good parent, no one should be allowed to stand in his way."–Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Board

After discussing child custody and child support with Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Chair of the Board of Fathers and Families, the Editorial Board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, called for more shared parenting in their Father's Day editorial Making sense of child support in Ohio: editorial (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/19/10). Now the Plain Dealer's Ed Board has come out with a strong editorial calling for enforcement of visitation orders and criticizing the sole custody for mothers norm. To write a Letter to the Editor, click here.

The Board writes:
When parents fail to pay child support, the consequences are clear—seizure of driver's licenses, and a new nickname: deadbeat. But when custodial parents—usually mothers—refuse to allow their legally entitled ex-spouse or boyfriend to visit their children, they often escape punishment. Yet both are disobeying a court order.

It's a problem across the country, but it's time court officials in Greater Cleveland find a fair resolution…Youngsters need two loving parents in their lives, and if a father has been deemed fit by the courts and is ready and willing to be a good parent, no one should be allowed to stand in his way…Child visitation works when parents behave as adults and consider what is in the best interests of their children. Let's end the practice of allowing children to suffer collateral damage in the war between parents.
The Board also commends a Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court plan to "add a mediation program this fall that encourages parents to come up with a child-visitation plan early in divorce proceedings, before both sides are arguing bitterly over other issues" and calls on "all Ohio courts to put mothers and fathers on an equal plane from the start. Currently, the courts presume that single mothers automatically have sole custody. In an age when many fathers care for even the youngest infants, it's hard to defend that presumption."

The full editorial is Visitation rights must be enforced (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/17/10). To write a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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:

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

Missed an E-Newsletter? Read Them All Here
Legislative Update
Schwarzenegger Signs Child Support Reform Bill SB 580

California Senator Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles) has long been a leader in working toward a balanced family law system, and is sponsoring three child support reform bills this year. Fathers and Families' legislative representative Michael Robinson, in cooperation with the Family Law Executive Committee of the California State Bar, the Public Defenders Association, the Department of Child Support Services, and others, has been instrumental in introducing and working for the passage of child support reform bills in the California 2009-2010 legislative session.

The first of these bills to pass is SB 580, a bill to ensure that noncustodial parents aren't saddled with an unreasonably high percentage of their children's medical care costs. Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 580 last week.

We thank Senator Wright and Robinson for their successful work on this bread and butter issue for California child support obligors.

What's Happening
Letter in Telegram & Gazette: ‘When entering family court, fathers must leave their constitutional rights at the door…' 

Police, Social Worker ‘Broke Almost All the Rules' in Attempt to Frame Dad for Sexual Abuse of Daughter

Warren Buffett's Dad Taught Him the ‘Power of Unconditional Love'

Orlando Boy Jailed for Protecting Three-Year-Old Girl

Are Stay-at-Home-Dads More Accepted Now? 

Expert: No Conflict Between Breastfeeding and Shared Parenting

CA Woman to Do Time for False Accusations

Tacoma DV Victims' Advocate Under Fire for Facilitating Parental Kidnapping

Writer: 16-Year-Olds Should Not Serve in British Military

Male Contraceptive Pill Shows Promise

Mother Who Strangled Her Daughter Walks Free

Bookmark It! 'Co-Parenting 101' Site a Valuable Resource for Parents Who Want to Keep Each Other in Their Children's Lives

BBC's 'A Century of Fatherhood' Debunks Myths about Fathers and Children

Dave Nash and Ken Thompson: Two Dads, Similar Quests

Do You Pay Alimony or Child Support?
Alimony Reform: F & F Helps Introduce SB 1482, Provisions Protect Alimony Obligors

Some alimony obligors assert that their exes are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, or are artificially lowering their earning capacity because they'd rather keep collecting large amounts of tax-free alimony. SB 1482, a bill recently introduced by Senator Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles), helps solve this problem by allowing obligors to request vocational examinations for the recipients of alimony payments, and requiring judges to follow the examiner's estimate of the recipient's earning ability when calculating alimony.


The Family Law Executive Committee of the California State Bar is the sponsor of the bill. Fathers and Families' legislative representative, Michael Robinson, helped draft the bill's protections for parents who pay alimony, and was also responsible for securing a sponsor for the bill.

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 and to read our full SB 1482 Support Letter to Assemblymember Mike Feuer, Chair, Assembly Committee on the Judiciary, please click here.

Dads Matter
"[My dad] coached me from when I was 6 years old until I got to high school...[he was] the reason why I'm here right now...He's always been there for me."

--Boston Red Sox All-Star
Clay Buchholz


© 2010. Fathers and Families. All Rights Reserved.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Volunteer Testimonial

"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."

By Charles Schramm, Member, Ohio