Judge Judy Speaks; Also, Florida Victory???? Massachusetts Update, Latest Shared Parenting Research

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April 27, 2016

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 Florida Is a Victory
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organization
Some of our members think we lost when SB 668 in Florida, a good alimony and shared parenting bill, was vetoed by Republican Governor Rick Scott.

They are wrong. We simply took another step toward winning.

Here’s how you can tell when a social movement is on the road to victory:
  1. The Legislature passed alimony reform and shared parenting not once, but twice by healthy margins.

  2. Like most US men and women, Floridians overwhelmingly support shared parenting as the usual outcome if both parents are fit. They demonstrated this with thousands of emails, calls and letters in support of SB 668. Calls to the Governor’s office ran five to one in favor.

  3. Several major newspapers ran our op-eds in support of the bill.

  4. Inside Scott's Office
  5. Our Tallahassee rally was bigger than the bad guys’ rally. And, we made it into the Governor’s anteroom with enthusiasm, signs and balloons. (see photo) I can guarantee you that the Mandatory Pants-For-Dogs Association, for instance, has never made it into the Governor’s anteroom.

  6. The actual research evidence for what is best for children grows stronger and stronger each day for shared parenting. (See related article below.) Opponents increasingly look like idiots when they claim the opposite of what the science actually shows.

  7. The quality of the objections raised by opponents are obvious nonsense. Anyone can see they don’t add up.

  8. For instance, Governor Scott wrote, “This bill has the potential… of putting the wants of a parent before the child’s best interest by creating a premise of equal time sharing.” This is nonsense given the increasing evidence that shared parenting IS the child’s best interest in most cases. It is impossible to come up with a good reason, so he makes one up. Read more...
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Massachusetts Shared Parenting Bill Update
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organization
Here’s an update on the re-write of the custody statute in Massachusetts. Regular readers know that a total re-write was suggested by an 18-member “Governor’s Working Group” on which I and others sat. The suggestions were made into a bill, which until recently was known as S834. The bill has had a lot of momentum.

But the Judiciary Committee re-wrote parts of the bill under pressure from the bar associations. We cannot live with some of the changes. The redrafted bill is now known as H1207.

I and others have been meeting with the Judiciary Committee to see what can be restored to H1207. The answers are likely, but not guaranteed, to be clearer within the next few weeks.

At that point, we will let our members know whether we recommend they support or oppose the bill. Either way, we will need hundreds of members to call or email their legislatures to urge them to act, hopefully in the way we recommend.

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The Latest on Shared Parenting Research
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organization
The latest developments in child development research give still more support for shared parenting.

Professor Richard Warshak has followed up on his famous 2014 research summary with an update to the present. Warshak describes the new research that has come out. He also gently but powerfully demolishes the arguments made by the few remaining child development researchers who staunchly oppose shared parenting as the usual outcome.

It is telling that even the small remnant of child development researchers who oppose shared parenting have given up opposing it for children who are above age three. All they have left is to oppose it among infants. Yet even here, their opinions do not stand up to the full research results, and their own studies are deeply flawed --- in fact, even suspicious for deliberate misrepresentation.

You can read trenchant summaries of the Warshak publications by our own Robert Franklin HERE and HERE.

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TV Personality Judge Judy lambasts family court
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organizationn
I have to admit this is not news. But we just came across it for the first time, courtesy of one of our members, and thought you’d be interested.

Judge Judy, whose full name is Judy Sheindlen, wrote a book in 1996 titled “Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining,” and it includes a chapter called “Custody Wars are Battles Without Winners.” Here were some of her observations long before there was a strong family court reform movement. Pay special attention to her last comment.

"American fathers are led down a primrose path every day in our family courts, often with disastrous legal results. They wind up in the Land of Gender Bias, where they are systematically stripped of their rights, often without the slightest idea of why it is happening to them."

"If you think the mother-father disparity is outrageous, consider the sexual abuse syndrome, and how it affects visitation and custody disputes. Here, the judicial impotence and chronic blindness to men's rights would appall you."

"Courts are supposed to approach cases of child custody, support payments, and visitation rights in what we call a gender-neutral posture. It sounds fair, and it is fair. But it is a myth. Judges are not enforcing these gender laws fairly, and few seem to care."

"We will see more of these problems until fathers organize to demand fairer treatment. So get it together dads: You have a legitimate legal beef and you need to make this a public issue. Right now the courts don't hear you."

Judge Judy was telling you 20 years ago that if you are passive, it will only get worse, which it did. It is time to get active by recruiting other members such as family and friends, supporting us financially, and participating in email and telephone campaigns to influence legislators and media.


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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 Ned Holstein, National Interim Executive Director. Together we can build an affiliate in your state.

 
Recent NPO Blog Posts

Warshak Destroys Opponents of Shared Parenting for Very Young Children

Warshak: Recent Science Bolsters Call for Shared Parenting

TX Governor Abbott’s Mistakes Make a Bad Situation Worse for TX Kids, CPS

Texas Child Protective Services Hemorrhaging Caseworkers, Supervisors, Executives

Peggy Orenstein: Convincing Boys They’re One-Dimensional Brutes

 

 
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Volunteer Testimonial

“There is nothing more meaningful that we can do to ensure that our children will flourish than to protect their relationship with both parents. National Parents Organization focuses on significant, practical changes to family law that will protect every child's right to the full, loving involvement of fit parents. National Parents Organization offers the opportunity to be effective in making changes that will protect the parent-child relationship when parents live apart.”

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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

"Facts show those younger children whose parents have equal shared custody are doing better emotionally, psychologically, academically and socially. Unfortunately, the Connecticut family court system has always been about one parent winning, and the other losing. Working with National Parents Organization we can help create an Equally Shared Parenting Task Force in the Connecticut Legislature. The purpose would be to create a law that would improve the lives of our children by experiencing direct support, love, and care from both parents and extended families."

By Paul Schaffer, Member, Connecticut Executive Committee