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F & F Introduces 5th CA. Family Court Reform Bill

Pro-Family Court Reform National Columnist Wins Pulitzer Prize

 
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F & F Introduces 5th CA. Family Court Reform Bill; Pro-Family Court Reform National Columnist Wins Pulitzer Prize
April 13, 2010
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F & F Introduces 5th CA. Family Court Reform Bill

Fathers & Families’ mission is to protect children’s right to the love and care of both parents after divorce or separation. One of the ways fit parents are sometimes driven to the margins of their children’s lives is by one parent using the other parent’s disability or partial disability as a pretext to deny them custody or visitation with their children.

While some disabled people are truly unable to care for their children, many are not. Fathers & Families is joining with disabled rights advocates, veterans groups, and California Senator Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles) in sponsoring SB 1188 to solve this problem.

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.

SB 1188 will add Section 3049 to the Family Code. It will read:
3049.  In any proceeding to determine child custody or visitation under this part, in which at least one parent is disabled as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), a court shall not use the disability of that parent as the basis of an award of custody or visitation to another party unless that party establishes by clear and convincing evidence that a grant of custody or visitation to the disabled parent would be detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
SB 1188 shifts the burden of proof onto the parent who raises the disability as an issue, serving as a deterrent to a parent seeking to raise the issue as a way to cause unnecessary litigation. It also reduces disabled parents’ litigation costs and helps reduce court calendar time and costs at a time when California is struggling with budget woes.

Fathers & Families often hears from parents who have had their disability unfairly used against them in family court. If this has happened to you, please let us know by filling out our form here.

SB 1188 is the 5th California family court reform bill Fathers & Families has been instrumental in introducing this session. Last week AB 2416, a child custody reform bill, passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously and has been put on the consent calendar for the full Assembly. Other current F & F legislation includes three child support reform bills–SB 1355, SB 578, and SB 580.

This remarkable progress is no accident–Fathers & Families’ legislative representative Michael Robinson and assistant legislative representative Nicole Silverman have spent many months lobbying legislators and gathering support for our legislative agenda.

F & F is creating real, tangible family court reform today, but our deep, professional involvement in Sacramento requires funding–please contribute to the organization that fights for you by clicking here.

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


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Join Fathers & Families
faf logoFathers 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:
 
 
Fathers & Families Congratulates Pro-Family Court Reform Columnist Kathleen Parker on Winning Pulitzer Prize

Parker“The divorce system is counterintuitive and morally bankrupt, and needs reinventing… What the organized fathers’ groups want isn’t wrong or mean-spirited but right and fair to children. Who among us can blame a man, wrongfully denied his own child, for shouting out that he was  framed?”–syndicated columnist  Kathleen Parker

Washington Post syndicated columnist  Kathleen Parker, whose column is published in over 300 newspapers weekly, was recently awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Parker has long been a friend of the family court reform movement in general and of Fathers & Families in particular, and we congratulate her on this impressive and well-deserved honor.

Parker was raised by a single father, Hal Connor, and spoke of him warmly and often in her columns. She wrote that from her father “I learned that fathers will lay their lives down for their children. I learned that men are capable of honor, valor, compassion and courage and that they are essential to instilling those virtues in their sons and daughters.”

In “I Have My Father’s Hands,” she explained:

[My father believed] you did what you had to do in life with aplomb and dignity, whether it was fighting for your country or defending your values and beliefs. His were non-negotiable. He was fair to all and looked down on no one. He demanded honor, loyalty and honesty from his constituents- always. Honor and loyalty to family were the same as honor and loyalty to country. You betrayed neither, and died for both if you had to.

His favorite saying, by Theodore Roosevelt, sums up my father’s life and his legacy: “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again … and who, at the worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

I kissed my father’s hands one final time as the hospital chaplain administered his last rites. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. As is this: Goodbye, Popsie.
Parker has often covered and praised Fathers & Families’ protest campaigns and work:
In “Bad Dads” a Bad Idea (5/2/08), she wrote in support of our successful Campaign Protesting the Fox Reality Show Bad Dads.

In Elian II: The Sequel (10/19/07), she supported our Campaign Protesting Florida DCF’s Mistreatment of Loving Father in ‘Elian Gonzalez II’ Case

In Let’s not alienate parents in custody battles (5/18/06), she praised our Campaign Against PBS’s Father-Bashing Breaking the Silence

In Divorced dads ready to wage a revolution (10/12/99), she described a presentation by Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., explaining, “I listened to Holstein’s presentation with a mixture of concern and sadness but, more important, of apprehension. I believe in the sincerity of these men, in their desire to be a part of their children’s lives, in their sense that they’ve been mistreated by courts that award children like chattel to mothers and treat fathers as mere financial providers.”
Fathers & Families has sent Parker a letter congratulating her. In it, we write:
Fathers & Families would like to congratulate you on your recent Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

You have long been a friend of the family court reform movement in general and of Fathers & Families in particular. We have appreciated the eloquence with which you’ve detailed the importance of fathers. Moreover, in an era when too many media commentators lazily and inaccurately blame fathers for all fatherlessness, you have thoroughly investigated the many ways the family court system separates fathers from the children who love them and need them. In so doing, you have made yourself one of the leading voices for reform.

We have also often been moved by your descriptions of your relationship with your father, Hal Connor, and the central role he played in your life.

Fathers and Families’ mission is to improve the lives of children and strengthen society by protecting the 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. We know that you believe as we do and seek what we seek, and we honor you for your massive contributions to this important cause.
Our full letter can be seen here.

© 2010. Fathers & Families. All Rights Reserved.

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