Victories in Hawaii

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May 29, 2014

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every 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.
Victories in Hawaii
By Chris Lethem, Chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Hawaii

Chris Lethem
Chris Lethem with Daughter
Amber Jade
This year National Parents Organization of Hawaii introduced several bills related to addressing abuses of the Child Support Enforcement Agency. We also introduced legislation HB2163 titled “Parental Parity” that would ensure equal time for both parents unless the court determined that it was not in the best interest of the child.

Two of the bills didn’t move, however, 3 of the bills moved through the house and senate with opposition from the Family Court Judges and the Child Support Enforcement Agency. The Joint Custody Bill language was weakened from Equal Time to “Shall consider frequent continuing and meaningful contact.” The change still moves the court toward more equitable time. We won’t know, however, how the court will implement the moderate change in the statute.

The language for the 2 remaining bills related to child support were attached to an appropriation bill forwarded by the Child Support Enforcement Agency requesting funds for additional staff. These two bills HB1504 related to disallowing “In Gross” child support orders and HB1505 support for children attending college.

An “In Gross” child support order is an order that doesn’t adjust the child support amount downward. Instead it remains fixed until the last child is no longer eligible. In Hawaii non-custodial parents are required to pay child support while a child is attending college until the age of 23. The second bill provided language relating to children over 18 attending college. It would require the CSEA pay the child support funds directly to the child attending college. The language from these two bills was later consolidated into a single bill along with a bill from CSEA requesting additional appropriations for more staff. The tactic of attaching the reform language to the appropriation bill would mean that the only way to get what they wanted was to give us the reforms we wanted. Unfortunately, this bill died during conference committee, but they will be re-introduced it in the next legislative session. Read more...


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Massachusetts Representative Shawn Dooley Joining Us for Our Working Membership Meeting

National Parents Organization of Massachusetts believes we can pass shared parenting legislation yet this session. We need your help NOW to make this happen.

Meet with newly elected Representative (and longtime member) Shawn Dooley, R-9th Norfolk District. Discuss how we can share The Boston Globe editorial endorsing shared parenting with our legislators and Governor Deval Patrick. Learn about the Governor’s Working Group’s legislation. Read more...
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Child Support System’s Overreach Fails to Respect Parents
May 27, 2014 by Don Hubin, PhD, Chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Ohio
A story out of Ohio provides yet another illustration of the way in which our current child support system fails to respect the decisions of fit and loving parents.

Terri and Nick Viltrakis were divorced about a year ago. Their divorce was less acrimonious than many. They agreed on an amount of child support and Nick began paying Terri directly. According to Terri, Nick was never behind on the child support payments; “Never, not once,” she said. Read more...


British Peer Calls for Scots to Enforce Visitation Rights
May 26, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Just a couple of months ago, I reported here on the complete refusal by police and sheriff’s departments, and district and county attorneys in Texas to enforce the criminal statute requiring compliance with visitation orders. The pertinent part of Texas Penal Code section 25.03 reads as follows: Read more...

Ohio Child Support Agency Tries to Collect for Girl Dead 33 Years
May 26, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Meanwhile the State of Ohio is trying to collect child support for a girl who’s been dead for 33 years. The child, Tanya Hogan, was beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend when she was three years old, way back in 1981.. Read more...

Attorney: Nebraska Child Support System Broken
May 25, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
I just reported on a Nebraska Supreme Court case that held that a victim of paternity fraud, who was ordered, prior to 2008, to pay support for a child he believed to be his, has no legal recourse once he learned the child had been fathered by another man. The state offers him no remedy for the mother’s fraud. Read more...

Nebraska Supreme Court: No Recourse for Dads from Paternity Fraud
May 23, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Last Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a man who is not the father of a child must continue paying to support the child even though the original order of support was brought about by “fraud, duress or mistake of material fact.” Read more...

A McIntosh Mea Culpa?
May 22, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Having spent the last three + years either espousing limited overnights for “non-resident” parents, i.e. fathers in the overwhelming majority of cases, or refusing to contradict those who used her research to support same, Jennifer McIntosh has now spent the last couple of months, furiously trying to distance herself both from her own statements and those made by others in response to her work. Read more...

McIntosh’s Efforts to Re-write History Fail
May 21, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Once Warshak’s review of the literature on shared parenting and overnights for very young children came out earlier this year, McIntosh et al’s work was exposed in all its weakness. Of course the fact that Warshak’s work was endorsed by no fewer than 110 eminent social scientists gave it a heft that was hard to overlook and fortunately, it hasn’t been. Read more...

 

 
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“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.”

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Janet Graham, Military Parent Advocate
 

The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
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