Men to ‘Go All In’ for Work and Family; FATHER Project Helps Dads Hone Parenting Skills; Father Reunited With Abducted Son

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June 17, 2015

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.
Washington Post Urges Men to ‘Go All In’ for Work and Family
Father with Child
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
This article in the Washington Post strikes a blow for men as fathers (Washington Post, 6/6/15). Specifically, it’s about changing parental leave laws and policies to allow dads to spend meaningful time with their kids in the first weeks of life. That of course is a good idea. Mothers biologically bond with their children during pregnancy; fathers do so mostly after their kids are born when testosterone levels take a sharp dive and prolactin levels rise. And children need to see, hear and feel their dads early in their lives to form the usual child/father attachment.

So parental leave for fathers makes sense for dads and their kids.

But societal norms interfere with that. The WaPo article makes clear that expectations of men to be the breadwinner in the family intrude on the father-child dyad. It’s not news that fathers spend much more time at work than do mothers. That’s a behavioral norm that’s evolved over (potentially) millions of years in every known human culture. Read more...


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MN: FATHER Project Helps Dads Hone Parenting Skills
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
In this culture that devalues fathers, it’s no surprise that often fathers devalue themselves. Popular culture routinely tells fathers that they’re anything from useless to dangerous to their kids. The law ups the ante, removing them from their children’s lives at the mere allegation of abuse or just because they weren’t the primary caregiver. Adoption laws all but invite mothers to give up their kids without the father’s consent. In over half the cases in which a child is taken from its mother by child protective agencies due to abuse or neglect, those agencies make no effort to contact the father as a possible custodian for the child.

Fathers have gotten the message. Even when they live with their kids, they usually take a backseat to Mom when it comes to childcare. And all too frequently, they assume they’re not needed, not wanted and not capable of being the kind of parent their children need — good, kind, loving and strong.

The FATHER Project in Minnesota seeks to turn those dads around, and it’s having an impact (Park Rapids Enterprise, 6/13/15). A program begun by Goodwill/Easter Seals of Minnesota, the FATHER Project has been around for four years, helping 225 dads during that time. Many of those, like Project director Joe Johnson, are products of the foster care system. Read more...


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UK: Father Reunited With Abducted Son
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Meanwhile, this article tells us that Roger Williams, who 17 days ago had his son Ethan taken on the run by the boy’s mother, was reunited with Ethan last Friday (Telegraph, 6/15/15). This past Monday, the court, after calling what mother Rebecca Minnock did “utterly irresponsible,” gave temporary custody to Williams. After almost three weeks on the lam, Minnock finally turned herself in to police. Whether she will be charged criminally is still undecided as are the precise terms of child custody and parenting time. Judge Mark Wildblood has vowed to work out an arrangement under which the child will have a meaningful relationship with each of his parents. That’s a good idea, but it may be difficult given Minnock’s prior attempts to remove Williams from his son’s life by leveling false allegations of abuse against him.

But for now, Williams and his son are together and the whole episode may now recede into the past.

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Glen Poole Skewers Claim British Courts Don’t Discriminate Against Dads
June 15, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
For a long time now, those opposed to equal parenting laws have made the specious claim that all fathers have to do to get custody of their children is ask for it. When they do, so the claim goes, courts grant it to them. Of course there’s no evidence for the proposition and a great deal that refutes it, but that doesn’t stop the anti-equality crowd. Absence of facts never does. Sometimes they cite the Maccoby and Mnookin study from the early 90s, but, since that actually demonstrates the opposite of their claim, most of them shy away from it. Read more...

House, Senate Republicans Oppose Child Support Reform
June 14, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
As I mentioned last time, there’s now a movement afoot in Congress to hamstring reformation of draconian shared parenting rules. The Office of Child Support Enforcement issued proposed changes to the regulations on how child support is established and enforced. As I wrote back then, most of those are much needed. It also seems that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a rule change “that would require states to relieve non-custodial parents from their child support obligations if they go to prison.” On its face, that too is nothing but a nod to the obvious — that parents in prison aren’t employed and can’t pay. It doesn’t make sense for their debt to go up and up during their incarceration time. That just makes the likelihood of payment all the more remote. Read more...

Dr. Brenda Williams: Child Support System ‘Dysfunctional... Must Be Reformed’
June 12, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
The Walter Scott case may be fading from the front pages, but the reform of child support laws, guidelines and practices becomes a hotter topic by the day. Scott of course was the South Carolina man who was seen on video fleeing from a traffic stop only to be gunned down by the police officer. The officer has since been indicted on a murder charge. Read more...

British Police, Family Court Seek Help in Locating Abducted Boy, 3
June 11, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
A child abduction case is ongoing in England. Read about it here (Daily Mail, 6/10/15). Several aspects of the case are remarkable. First is how the secrecy of British family court proceedings abetted the mother’s abduction of the child; second is how those courts ignored classic signs of parental alienation until it was too late; and third is how seriously they’re taking the case now. Read more...
 

 
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“As an involved grandparent, nothing gives me more satisfaction than working for the next generation of children in Connecticut. National Parents Organization brings like-minded people together to improve outcomes for the children of divorce, and unites Connecticut groups with those working on this cause in other states. Now we are proposing changes to Connecticut’s Child Support Guidelines. The proposed Guidelines empower both parents to maintain households and pay for expenses associated with child rearing. The term “empowered” is important, since they benefit from seeing parents who have responsibility and the means to exercise this responsibility.”

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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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Volunteer Testimonial

"I am honored to be a part of the National Parents Organization and to support the effort to make shared parenting the presumptive model for divorced families. Social justice comes in many forms, not the least of which is ensuring a child’s right to receive equitable love, care and role modeling from both parents whenever those parents are willing and able to make that commitment. As a child victim of a winner-take-all physical custody system myself, I know how impractical it is to have a healthy, nurturing relationship with the parent whom one merely “visits.” "

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