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Missouri Rally, Big Child Support Report, 2017 Shared Parenting Conference, and Progress in Europe

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June 16, 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.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY (WE HOPE)!

Missouri Rally, Hopes for Strong Shared Parenting Law
By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS  Founder and Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization
Attend the Fatherless Day Rally in Jefferson City this Friday -- tomorrow -- June 17, from noon to 3 PM in the Capitol Rotunda to support House Bill 1550. Governor Nixon has been invited. Major print and television media are expected to attend, as they did last year, so we need to show a good crowd!

Will Missouri Governor Jay Nixon sign the shared parenting bill HB1550?

This is the most important question in the family court reform movement at this exact moment. It is a good bill, with strong protections for shared parenting. The Missouri legislature passed it almost unanimously. We are hoping that he will sign it either on Friday, June 17 -- National Fatherless Day -- or on Monday June 20, in honor of Fathers Day.

National Parents Organization continues to apply pressure in support of this bill. Our Missouri Chair, Linda Reutzel, continues to make at least weekly trips to Jefferson City to lobby for this bill. We continue to gain media attention in support of the bill, for instance, in this article headlined "Making Child Custody More Fair to Divorced Fathers," .

Remember, citizen pressure is everything in politics. So attend the Rally, and if you have not already done so, Missouri members please call, write or email Governor Nixon’s office urging him to sign House Bill 1550. Here is where to find the contact information for the Governor.

After you have written, called or emailed, get three of your friends and family to do the same. No one needs to be an expert on the bill. Just let them know you want it passed. If you feel compelled to do your homework, just type in “Missouri” in the search bar on the home page of our website and you will see several articles with details. But let me repeat that this is not necessary.

The fate of this bill depends on your action, so please take action. Read more...

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Major Attack on Excessive Child Support Looms
By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS  Founder and Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization
First of Its Kind Report Will Torpedo Child Support Lunacies

National Parents Organization is pleased to announce a very large child support project we will undertake over the next year.

We will write the first comprehensive study of child support policies from the point of view of the entire family. Up until now, almost all of the millions of pages devoted to the topic of child support have only been about the wellbeing of the custodial parent.

As soon as I make this claim, there will be outraged replies from our opponents, who will loudly proclaim that child support is about the child, not the custodial parent. This can easily be disproven. First, since there is no obligation on the part of the custodial parent to use the child support she receives on behalf of the child, the claim is immediately disproven. In fact, when I served on the Task Force to review the Child Support Guidelines of Massachusetts, I faced unanimous opposition to including a list of the kinds of child-related expenses that the custodial parent was expected to pay for -- like clothes and school activity fees, etc -- in return for receipt of child support. In other words, no accountability.

Secondly, many child support policies are demonstrably injurious to the children they allegedly help. Any child support policy that impoverishes either parent is harmful to the child, since a deeply impoverished parent simply cannot function well as a parent. The home may be ramshackle, the working hours long, the demoralization great, and so on.

And finally, it is common to find that subsequent children or stepchildren of the payer of child support are often impoverished compared to the children of the first relationship because of excessive child support orders. Passionate stepmothers often tell me, “My children have holes in their sneakers while hers [the children of the first mother] take European ski vacations.” Read more...

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NPO to Sponsor Groundbreaking Conference on Shared Parenting in 2017
By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS  Founder and Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization
National Parents Organization is proud to announce a groundbreaking event that you will want to attend. Together with the International Council on Shared Parenting, we will organize the “International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017.”

Please reserve May 29-32, 2017 for this stunning conference, which will be held at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston. It will feature the rock stars of shared parenting research from throughout the world, including Malin Bergstrom (Sweden), Sanford Braver (USA), William Fabricius (USA), Edward Kruk (Canada), Michael Lamb (UK), Linda Nielsen (USA), Patrick Parkinson (Australia) and Richard Warshak (USA).

Each of these luminaries has already committed to presenting their research findings concerning shared parenting at the 2017 conference.

In addition, there will be break-out sessions for those who seek answers from top-flight family law attorneys on common family law problems.

To receive updates on this conference as further details emerge, please go to NPO-ICSP2017.org. Registering at that website is free and implies no commitment- it simply means that you will be kept informed of new developments. Read more...

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Shared Parenting Momentum Grows in Europe
By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS  Founder and Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization
The movement for shared parenting continues to grow in western democracies. In addition to support for shared parenting from the Roman Catholic Church, and the Resolution favoring shared parenting passed by the Council of Europe, now comes news of three recent European meetings.

On May 21, 2016, a conference was held at the University of Athens entitled “Shared Parenting: The Need for Institutional Reforms.”

Organized in part by my friend Yannis Paparrigopoulos, the conference featured speakers about equally divided between mental health experts and attorneys. Specific topics included, “The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Danger of Error of Law;” “The New Role of the Father on Character Building of Children;” and, from Canadian professor Edward Kruk, “The Large Consensus on Shared Parenting after Separation or Divorce.”

Next, a conference to be held on June 22 in Strasbourg, France is titled “Implementation of Shared Parenting in Europe and Implementation of the Resolution 2079 (2015).” Resolution 2079 refers to the stand taken by the Council of Europe in advocating for shared parenting. Among the attendees will be Mrs. Hetto Gaasch, who was the chief author of Resolution 2079. The meeting has been organized by the International Council on Shared Parenting, an organization with which National Parents Organization works closely. Read more...

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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.

 
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