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6 Reasons Single Moms Should Embrace Equal Child Custody

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September 24, 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.
6 Reasons Single Moms Should Embrace Equal Child Custody
By Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director, National Parents Organization

Kate and Richard Bayer
A rival statistic to the nation’s divorce rate shakes up the conversation on societal expectations that mom shoulder sole responsibility for child rearing while dad serves as breadwinner. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 40 percent of children born in the United States are born to unmarried parents.

This means that outside of divorce, a significant portion of our nation’s children enter child custody courts by default, which is where the problem becomes worse for today’s modern families. Contrary to common belief, when child custody cases turn ugly, judges rarely equally divide parenting. The old-fashioned model from the ‘50s where mom receives custody and dad gets “visitation” reigns more than 90 percent of the time.

These statistics remind me that our moms need not feel forced into the role of June Cleaver any more than dad should accept his role as Ward. Despite our family courts insistence of being a last hideout to gender inequality, our society has changed and moreover research shows that shared parenting — often defined as equal joint and physical custody — is best for children and also benefits mothers in many ways, including:

Moms get paid. Numerous studies show that child support compliancy rates are significantly higher in instances of shared parenting compared to sole custody arrangements. The statistics make sense. If a parent has the opportunity to be fully engaged in a child’s life, the parent naturally becomes more invested — financially and otherwise — in the child.

Moms succeed professionally. When moms and dads share parenting time, moms have equal time to pursue their careers. Unfortunately, the current model puts mom in a position of having sole custody 90 percent of the time, which only enables dad to continue to be the primary bread winner.

Fewer Fights. Sharing diminishes hostility, and child custody cases are no exception to this universal truth. Parental equality leads to fewer disputes mostly because it removes resentment about unequal roles and responsibilities. It puts both parents on equal footing from the start, which has tremendously positive impacts on not only the parents, but most importantly, the children. Read more...

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Family Law Reform Conference

A Personal Message From Founder of NPO Ned Holstein

Attend the Family Law Reform Conference

Dear friends,

Please join me in a rare opportunity for personal growth and social reform: the Family Law Reform Conference hosted by Divorce Corp, November 15-16, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia!

This will be an unprecedented opportunity for you to learn about family court trends, meet leaders in the reform movement. Read more...


About Us
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National Parents Organization
PO BOX 270760
Boston, Massachusetts 02127-0760
(617) 542-9300
www.NationalParentsOrganization.org

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Information Resources

> Share Your Story:

Members share stories of their children and families.
> Advice:
Our most frequently asked questions are posted with answers from experts.
> Forms and Documents:
Many forms and documents are common to many cases in your state or even across the United States.
> Parent To Parent:
Your opportunity to share with other parents and with extended family members supporting you and other parents.

Establish an Affiliation in Your State

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.

 
Two Cases Show the Twin Problems Faced by Child Protective Services
September 22, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
It’s the Scylla and Charybdis of child protective services. On one hand a child is murdered by her mother who’s known by CPS to have mental problems, be neglectful of the kids and actively keep their father out of their lives. In other words, CPS did too little to address a clear threat to two children. On the other the police and CPS intervene in a mother-child relationship for no good reason, taking CPS caseworkers away from children who need their attention and protection. On the one hand, not nearly enough time was spent; on the other, far too much. Here’s the first article (Sacramento Bee, 9/21/14). And here’s the second (Fox San Antonio, 9/19/14). Read more...


Census Bureau: 42.5% of Single Mothers Live in Poverty; 5.4% of Married Ones Do
September 21, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
There’s nothing new under the sun. Not only that, but in this case the “news” is actually old (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/17/14). It seems the U.S. Census Bureau has come out with its data from its American Community Survey for 2013, and to no one’s surprise, American households most likely to live in poverty are single-mother ones with live-in children. The article is about conditions in Wisconsin, but they’re pretty representative of the country generally. Of course, the situation of single mothers is not good. Read more...

Marine Corps Veteran Jailed for Refusing to Pay Alimony with Disability Benefits
September 19, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Marine Corps veteran and Florida resident, Terry Lynn has been ordered by a Florida judge to pay his ex-wife half of the money he receives in veterans’ disability benefits. Lynn served in the Gulf War in Iraq in the early 90s and was disabled there. He receives $1,500 in veterans’ disability benefits which is all he has to live on. Plus, a federal law shields those benefits from all claims on them. Those claims include debts, medical bills and even taxes, as this article shows (ABC 7, 9/17/14). Read more...

 

 
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Volunteer Testimonial

“I’m involved to bring attention to an issue that’s very important to me — our childrens’ need for real co-parenting.”

>Stefan Jouret
Stefan Jouret, Esq., Member, Massachusetts Executive Committee
 

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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