Success--CA. Child Custody Bill AB 2416 Passes Assembly Judiciary Committee Unanimously!

F & F Organizes Support for Shared Parenting Bill

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Success--CA. Child Custody Bill AB 2416 Passes Committee Unanimously; F & F Organizes Support for Shared Parenting Bill
April 6, 2010
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Success--CA. Child Custody Bill AB 2416 Passes Assembly Judiciary Committee Unanimously!

At Fathers and Families we receive many letters from divorced or separated military servicemembers with painful but preventable family law problems. California AB 2416 will help protect the loving bonds that servicemembers share with their children.

Fathers and Families has worked closely with Assemblyman Paul Cook, the American Retirees Association, and others on AB 2416, and last week thousands of you responded to our Action Alert in support of the Bill. We are pleased to announce that today the bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously.

The bill will now go to the full Assembly, where it has been put on the consent calendar and is likely to pass. Thanks to all of you who participated. We will keep our members informed of the bill’s progress--stay tuned for future Action Alerts.

To learn more about the bill and to read Fathers & Families’ official support letter, see our AB 2416 Campaign page here.

Bills don’t pass unanimously by accident--this victory was achieved because Fathers & Families’ legislative representative Michael Robinson and assistant legislative representative Nicole Silverman have spent months lobbying legislators and gathering support for AB 2416. We’ve been at the forefront of this issue, successfully working to pass military parent legislation in dozens of states.

The first major success occurred in 2005 under Robinson’s direction with the passage of California SB 1082, which helped address servicemembers’ custody and child support problems. Fathers & Families organized a campaign in support of the bill, and the Senate Judiciary Committee Analysis of SB 1082 made specific note of your calls and letters. We’ve also had some success with federal legislation on this issue--to learn more, click here.

F & F is creating real, tangible family court reform today, but our deep, professional involvement in Sacramento requires money--contribute to the organization which 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

F & F Organizes Support for HB 1400, the Massachusetts Shared Parenting Bill--Join Us!

Fathers & Families’ Shared Parenting Bill HB 1400 is currently before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary of the Massachusetts Legislature. The bill would establish a presumption of shared legal and shared physical custody following divorce when a family court has determined that both parents are fit to care for their children.

Through Fathers & Families’ efforts, over one-quarter of the Massachusetts Legislature has expressed clear, public support for our shared parenting bill, many of them signing on as co-sponsors. We gathered thousands of signatures to place shared parenting on the 2004 Massachusetts ballot and led a successful campaign for its passage, winning 86% of the vote. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told the Legislature that if they pass our shared parenting bill, he will sign it, and F & F recently met with Patrick.

Through our efforts and the efforts of our allies, shared parenting was the most-requested plank in the Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the most popular issue on the Governor’s website in 2009. Shared parenting was endorsed in principle by the editorial board of the Boston Globe in 2008.

HB 1400 will be voted on by the Judiciary Committee on or around May 7. Fathers & Families is organizing its Massachusetts members to lobby the Committee members to pass the bill. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here.

To learn more about HB 1400 and Shared Parenting, see the spoken testimony of Fathers & Families’ founder Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. below, or his written testimony here. Also, see Dr. Holstein’s Boston Globe column Where’s Dad?.

To contribute financially to support Fathers & Families’ work on HB 1400 and Shared Parenting, please click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers & Families

Melissa Hodgdon
Deputy Director, Fathers & Families

Join Fathers & Families
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Mothers Who Share Parenting
‘We agreed we’d protect our son and show him how loved he was’

“If my son brings up his dad in conversation I make a point of saying, ‘you are lucky to have a great dad’…I want him to feel safe loving his father right in front of me, without fear of hurting my feelings or being concerned about allegiance to either parent.”

Fathers & Families supporter Maggie is a mother who shares parenting. Below, she tells her story.

Co-parenting benefits us as parents, but ultimately it is our children who are the winners
By Maggie

When my husband and I divorced in 2004 our families were heartbroken. Our son was three years old. Our parents were becoming friends, enjoyed spending holidays together and everyone was looking forward to a long happy life as one unit. We shattered a lot of dreams with our decision, but we knew it was the right one.

In the midst of this turmoil we both did a lot of things that we regret (mostly me) and had to work very hard to practice forgiveness (mostly him). However, we made a pact early on that we would protect our son and show him how loved he was. We knew that he would feel the rippling effects of our actions and agreed that our decisions would be made solely for what was best for him – not what felt good or what seemed “fair” to us...

Today we are sharing time with an eight-going-on-18 year old. Suddenly dad is the coolest thing since the invention of video games. Where he once wanted me, he is now looking to his dad for mentoring and to model how to be a guy in the world. I am coming to terms with the fact that he will likely spend his teen years primarily living with his father and that is ok – it’s what is best for him. We’re watching him and letting him guide us by his age-appropriate needs whenever possible....

Read more

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Volunteer Testimonial

"I am excited to join National Parents Organization as their Military Parent Advocate. Military families are being broken apart because of a lack of understanding in the family law courts. I believe that children benefit from access to both parents, regardless of their military status. I look forward to advocating for legislation that protects military parents against discrimination in child custody determinations."

By Janet Graham, Military Parent Advocate