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Why Temporary Custody Orders Are a Big Deal

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July 10, 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.
Why Temporary Custody Orders Are a Big Deal
By Don Hubin, PhD, Chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Ohio

Don Hubin
Don Hubin
An Ohio National Parents Organization member recently wrote to me to let me know what responses he’d received from the Ohio legislators he’d written to. He was writing to advocate for a presumption of true shared parenting during temporary orders. “True shared parenting” means joint legal decision-making authority (legal custody) and substantially equal parenting time (physical custody). One of our esteemed legislators blew the issue off, informing this man that (as the man reported to me), “temporary orders are simply temporary, and that they are not the final orders that the magistrate can rule to set what is in the best interest of the child.”

Well, of course, temporary orders are temporary. Hard to argue with that. But it’s a terrible mistake to conclude that they don’t matter much. They are vitally important.

In 1999, I published my “Parental Rights and Due Process,” which argued that doctrine explicitly endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court implied that parents had a fundamental constitutional right to shared parenting. In that paper, I focused on shared parenting during temporary orders because those orders are based on almost no evidence; they provide almost nothing in the way of substantive due process. I anticipated that some people would say: “What’s the big deal? They’re only temporary orders.”

Here (from my 1999 paper) is why temporary orders are a big deal.

[T]he seriousness of the situation [is not] diminished significantly by the fact that we are concerned here, for the most part, with the temporary suspension of rights pendente lite—during the pendency of the legal action. (Indeed, as shall become clear, the timing of the temporary custody decision makes it of the utmost importance to preserving the parent/child relationship.) As those involved in the practice of domestic law know, ‘pendente lite’ may refer to a period of many months, often years and sometimes many years. With the deprivation of rights with respect to children, even more so than with deprivation of other rights, “justice delayed is justice denied.” The brief years of childhood are unrecoverable. To be denied the parenting relationship with one’s children for any significant period of time is to be permanently and irrevocably denied parenting the children during that precious period of their lives. And, it should be remembered, even when the litigation period does not seem especially long by adult standards, it will seem very long to a child deprived of meaningful contact and a parenting relationship with one of his or her parents. Furthermore, even in the absence of a legal supposition to this effect, temporary orders establish a status quo with respect to the custody of the children with which courts are (sometimes not unreasonably) loath to interfere unless there is positive evidence of adverse effect on the children.

Finally, and very importantly, even the temporary suspension of parental rights appears likely to so disrupt the parenting relationship as to permanently impair it. Citing Judith Wallerstein and Joan Kelly (1980), Edward Kruk says: Read more...
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Celebrate America’s Military Night

Andrew McLaren
Andrew McLaren

Andrew McLaren, member, National Parents Organization of New York is one of America’s veterans who will be honored at Celebrate America’s Military Night for his service to the veteran community and preserving our Constitutional values. The event is at 7 pm, Friday, July 11, 2014, at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Andrew is working to achieve what National Parents Organization wants for our all of our children, shared parenting. As Andrew gains attention professionally he continues to raise up the need for shared parenting and parental equality as the major social change we must make for our children.

You may recognize Andrew from: Chrome Underground, Stars Earn Stripes, 40-Life, or Battle for Haditha.


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National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

If you are ready, please contact Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director. Together we can build an affiliate in your state.

 
British Press Get it Wrong on U.S. Woman’s Kidnapping of Children
July 9, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
I think I’ll start a fundraising campaign to buy telephones for British “journalists.” I think it’s a shame that perfectly upstanding reporters don’t have telephones. After all, their job is to report the news and that often means interviewing people who aren’t present and can only be reached by long-range communications devices. Read more...

New Study of Domestic Violence: ‘Women Significantly More Likely to be Physically Aggressive’
July 7, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
We’ve known for decades that women and men are about equally likely to commit domestic violence. We’ve had solid information on the subject since around 1971 when Erin Pizzey opened the first women’s DV shelter in England. There she found that 62% of the women who came to her were as violent or more violent than the men they’d left. Read more...

In Australia, More of the Same on Children’s Overnights from the Anti-Dad Crowd
July 6, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
One way or another, Jennifer McIntosh and her colleagues who oppose fathers having overnight care of their children before they reach age five just never quite seem to go away. And when they poke their heads up, they always seem to be saying the same things and those things always seem to be at odds with the truth. Indeed, the more they attempt to “correct the record,” the more the record stays the same. Read more...

Houston Dad Freed From Jail; Still Owes $10K
July 4, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
This case is finally over (KTRK, 7/2/14). Well, it’s over for everyone except the dad, Cliff Hall.

I first reported on Hall here. He’s the Houston father who was ordered to jail for failure to pay child support. The only problem with that was the fact that he’d paid every penny he owed. So how’d Judge Lisa Millard figure he was behind? Read more...


Nebraska: Equal Parenting Petition Ignore by Supreme Court
July 4, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Opponents of shared parenting are digging their heels in to stop even modest improvements in the time children spend with their fathers post-divorce. Nebraska is the latest battleground.

I’ve reported a lot on the doings in Nebraska. What looked like the last-ditch effort of the anti-dad/anti-kid forces came when their own study of custody cases in the state revealed they have no basis for their opposition. Now, of course we’d known that all along. Read more...


My Speech to the First Annual International Men’s Issues Conference
July 3, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
I attended and was privileged to speak at the First Annual International Men’s Issues Conference held in Detroit on June 26 — 28. The Conference was a huge success and for me an extremely gratifying experience. Many of the pioneers of the movement for men’s issues were there including Warren Farrell, Erin Pizzey, Paul Elam and many more. The Conference testified to the growth, strength and intellectual heft of a movement whose time, finally, has come.

Below is the text of my speech and here is my introduction by Attila Vinczer and here’s the speech itself.

Like so many people here, I’ve had my own red-pill moment. Mine came in 1997 when a friend of mine, Greg, received a telephone call from a young man. The young man was Greg’s son. He was 21 years old, but Greg had never heard of him before. 22 years previously, Greg had had a brief affair and, unknown to him, the woman had conceived a child. She’d broken off the relationship and they’d gone their separate ways until the young man asked his mother for a gift on his 21st birthday — to meet his father. Read more...


 

 
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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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