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Mark Your Calendar Now for a Unique Opportunity in 2017!

One Trip to Boston, Two Great Conferences.

First, attend the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017 (ICSP 2017) on May 29-30, 2017 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.

Then attend AFCC 2017 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel immediately after the close of ICSP 2017 on May 30, 2017, a five minute walk from the Westin.

NPO-ICSP 2017 preliminary program available now! #NPO-ICSP2017 npo-icsp2017.org/program/

Registration & Housing for NPO-ICSP 2017 available now. Make sure to register by April 15 for our reduced early bird fees! npo-icsp2017.org/registrationhousing/

Questions can be directed to [email protected] Organization.org

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April 28, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The National Parents Organization seeks to make it two in a row in Missouri this year. Last year, NPO’s legislation passed unanimously in the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon. Our point person in the Show Me State is the excellent Linda Reutzel. Here’s what she has to say about what last year’s legislation accomplished:

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April 27, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

It’s a safe bet that anyone who denominates herself a “very evolved woman,” and certainly one whose grasp of the English language is as tenuous as Dufu’s, probably isn’t. It’s equally safe to bet that she doesn’t know the basics of her chosen topic, and sure enough, no one will lose money on Tiffany Dufu (The Independent, 4/19/17).

Now, to her credit, when she calls on women to “drop the ball,” i.e. to stop doing so much housework and childcare and demand that their husbands do more, she doesn’t forget to tell men to drop their ball as well.

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April 26, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

So Tiffany Dufu has written a book about a topic – why women can’t “have it all” – that was discussed at length in the 80s and resolved. Of course the adults among us, men and women alike, always understood the basics of everyday life and so were not a bit surprised that neither sex could devote their full time to a career plus be a full-time parent. No one’s life consists of two “full-times,” and no sensible person wishes it did.

So Dufu doesn’t just come late to the party, it’s long been over and everyone’s gone home and to bed. But here’s Dufu anyway, claiming to be a victim of an evil “society” that supposedly tells her she’s woefully deficient for failing to be fabulously successful in her career and, at the same time, “gracefully managing” her home (The Independent, 4/18/17).

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April 24, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Much has been written about the cult of victimhood that began with feminism and has now expanded to seemingly anyone and everyone who’s attended college in the last 30 years or so. Oh, I know that most people who’ve attended college in those years escapes without believing the nonsense peddled by the social justice warriors. Still, the notion that one’s highest calling is to realize one’s most abject victim status is altogether present in our national discourse as this article once again demonstrates (The Independent, 4/19/17).

Now, the very concept of ‘victim’ necessarily includes the concept of at least a degree of helplessness. One is a victim of the playground bully if one is unable to avoid or confront the bullying. Black slaves were victims of slavery because they had no realistic out. So the fact that, in a society is comparatively free and prosperous, we have an ever-growing number of people convinced that they’re victims of something or someone means that those people want us to believe that, in some way, they don’t have a choice about the conduct of their lives. They are helpless in the face of some power or other.

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April 23, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Ten years ago yesterday, Vladek Filler was arrested and charged with raping his wife. It took years for Filler to demonstrate his innocence, years in which he was convicted of abusing his wife, exonerated, convicted of misdemeanor assault against his wife and exonerated again. His epic journey from accused felon to being proved innocent isn’t over yet. Not content with having the charges against him dropped, Filler took on the District Attorney’s Office of Hancock County, Maine that, in the persons of ADA Mary Kellett and ADA Paul Cavanaugh, violated numerous ethical and procedural duties in order to try to railroad Filler into prison.

Filler wasn’t having it. He placed Kellett’s wrongdoing before the Maine State Bar disciplinary body that, for the first time in the history of the state actually disciplined a prosecutor. Kellett was subsequently forced to resign. Filler now has a federal lawsuit against various prosecutors including Kellett and Cavanaugh, law enforcement officials and others. Last year, the judge hearing that case gave it the green light to proceed to trial and denying the prosecutors’ bid for immunity.

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April 21, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

What to make of this (Daily Mail, 4/19/17)? I’m tempted to blame the family courts for Sheila Griffin’s suicide because, after all, many of the markers of family court failure seem to be raised by the article. Or are they?

What the article’s writer wants us to believe is that Griffin, who had primary custody of her children, was falsely accused of some form of sexual impropriety with a child and, because of that, had custody transferred to her ex, Chris. Although she was acquitted of the criminal charge, Chris obstructed her contact with the children and, without that, she took her own life. The suggestion is that Chris stood between Griffin and her access to her children and, presumably, the family court failed to enforce her right to contact.

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April 20, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Yesterday I reported on an op-ed penned by four North Dakota family lawyers that frankly misrepresented reality.  The four claimed that family lawyers in the state support shared parenting.  They offered no evidence for the proposition, but, more importantly, left out all the evidence that contradicts their claim.  And, as I mentioned, there’s plenty of that evidence.

I went into the fact that the state bar was so opposed to the shared parenting ballot initiative in 2014 that it violated U.S. Supreme Court precedents to do so.  The State Bar Association of North Dakota got sued for its trouble and settled the case without the publicity of a trial.  Needless to say, those facts went unmentioned in the lawyers’ op-ed.

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April 19, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Family law attorneys in North Dakota are reaching new depths of dishonesty about shared parenting (Grand Forks Herald, 4/16/17). This article actually claims that the state’s family bar members are all for shared parenting, just not a presumption of shared parenting. Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

The writers, Tasha Gahner, Shannon Parvey, Jackie Stebbins and Jason McLean, are all family lawyers in North Dakota. Their article comes perilously close to being a bald-faced lie. They obviously hope that their readers are ignorant of recent facts, like what happened two years ago when Measure 6, that would have established shared parenting as the default arrangement in child custody matters, went before the voters.

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April 17, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Continuing from yesterday’s post, Steven Rhoads pours on the information about the biology of sex roles and what that means for the choices men and women tend to make about paid work and childcare. Some of what he cites is relatively new science, some of it’s not. As I emphasized yesterday, the fact that people like Rhoads need to be educating the public on these matters only shows how far we’ve regressed as we blunder our way through a feminist wilderness. For millennia people have known that women are more inclined than men toward childcare and men toward providing for their families. This is not news even though the science backing up that age-old knowledge is.

But the simple truth is that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that sex is entirely a social construct. That was absurd when it was first asserted and it’s absurd now. Kate Millett’s entire approach to biological sex differences was to note that, generally speaking, men are bigger and stronger than are women. Of course avoiding the known facts about the differences between the sexes was necessary to the rest of her thesis, but that only points up how misguided her thesis was. When you find yourself avoiding obvious facts that impinge on your narrative, the sensible thing to do is to seriously question your narrative. Millett chose instead to forge ahead.

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April 16, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

A few days ago I reported on Brad Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon’s piece that dealt, however imperfectly, with recent data showing a continuation of a gradual trend toward traditional sex roles by young millennials.Among other things, I pointed out that, whatever the attitudes of people when they’re young, when it comes to caring for children, their behavior tends strongly to fall into the traditional roles, i.e. mother as caregiver, father as breadwinner.That is, even when 20-somethings espouse egalitarian values, mothers pulling half the load of earning and fathers half the load of childcare, when the first child comes along, they strongly tend to opt out of the brave new world.

So yes, a 20+-year trend away from non-traditional sex roles within the family still only has a following of 28% of those surveyed, but 10 or so years from now will see far greater numbers of them happily choosing traditional roles in the home.

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April 14, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

National Parents Organization has scored another victory, this time in Kentucky. House Bill 492 passed both houses of the state legislature unanimously. That’s right, without a single dissenting vote. This past Monday, Governor Matt Bevin signed the measure into law.

What is House Bill 492? It establishes a presumption of shared parenting and equal parenting time in temporary orders. From now on, absent extenuating circumstances, neither parent in a divorce case will be shoved aside during the pendency of the case. As countless parents know, that is vitally important to a parent’s opportunity to continue the same arrangement once the final order is signed. Put simply, judges often tend to recapitulate in the final order the terms of the temporary one. So fathers who were marginalized from the start founnd themselves marginalized permanently.

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ICSP2017 Logo

Boston Conference in May: Where Activists are Gathering
By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization

And Your Only Chance to Gather Latest Shared Parenting Info
From World’s Experts in One Place


If you are serious as a family court reform activist, the place to be on May 29-30 is at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in downtown Boston at a major conference sponsored by National Parents Organization and the International Council on Shared Parenting. Here you will get to know the leaders of many organizations in this movement, meet our PR staff, have opportunities to gather informally with other activists, and to form new friendships and alliances.

You will come home with new ideas, new inspiration, and new friends and allies.

SO REGISTER NOW FOR A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE OUR CAUSE

If you are still in court yourself, nothing will equip you better for winning shared parenting than what you will learn in Boston. Better yet -- tell your lawyer to attend too if she/he is serious about representing you -- and they should not charge you for their education!

They should hear firsthand what William Fabricius has found about shared parenting for infants, and for high conflict families; William Bernet’s discoveries about how to disprove the charge that a child is alienated from you because you mistreated her; Vittorio Vezzetti’s research on whether there are actual changes in the brain chemistry of children who lose frequent contact with a loved parent; Edward’s Kruk’s findings on shared parenting and domestic violence, and much, much more.

In our “Legal Practica,” which occur each day both before and after the Scientific Sessions, distinguished family law attorneys from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire will offer four, two-hour question-and-answer sessions on the most common family law problems and how they actually play out in family court today. (See the Program below the Scientific Sessions for details.)

Sponsored by National Parents Organization together with the International Council on Shared Parenting, the official Conference Theme is:

Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in
Understanding Children’s Best Interest?


This conference will explore 40 years of research on how children fare in different post-divorce parenting arrangements. Research suggests that fully half of troubled children and adolescents derive from conflicted, separated and divorced families. The faculty will delve into the relationship between different types of post-divorce parenting arrangements and children’s subjective and objective outcomes, their attachment to parental figures, and specific issues such as age and developmental level of children, high conflict, domestic violence, and parental alienation. The conference offers the rare opportunity to interact with leading legal and mental health scholars from around the world on this important topic. The program will include plenary sessions, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and break-out workshops.

Faculty Highlights:

The distinguished faculty will be headlined by Michael Lamb, formerly head of the Section on Social and Emotional Development of the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for 17 years, and now Professor of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Prof. Lamb is the author of over 500 professional articles and the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s 2015 Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology.

Dr. Richard Warshak is the author of the widely known “Consensus Report” of 2014. The conclusions of this comprehensive literature review of children’s outcomes as related to post-divorce parenting plans were signed by 110 eminent authorities from around the world.

The research of Profs Malin Bergström of Sweden and Patrick Parkinson of Australia reflects the fact that shared parenting has been very common in both countries for almost a decade, thus reducing the research problem of selection bias.

Other distinguished faculty include Sanford Braver (U.S.), William Fabricius, (U.S.), Edward Kruk (Canada), Linda Nielsen (U.S.), Irwin Sandler (U.S.), Jean Zermatten (Switzerland, UN Commission on the Rights of the Child), Pamela Ludolph (U.S.), and about 40 other scholars from 18 countries ranging from China to the Middle East to Europe to North America. See the full program.

Come to where the action and the knowledge will be on May 29-30, 2017 in Boston. Register today. I’m looking forward to meeting you there!

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April 13, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Now, what many readers will have noticed about Brad Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon’s article on young millennials’ views on sex roles within families is that, whatever the trend may be, there are still very few people who embrace the more traditional roles as described by the Pepin and Cotter analysis of General Social Survey data. Yes, 28% of respondents agreed with the statement that it is ““much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.” But that means that 72% didn’t agree. They may have strongly disagreed, mildly disagreed or expressed no opinion, but, one way or another, they didn’t agree with the proffered iteration of traditional sex roles for mothers and fathers.

And yes, that 28% is up six percentage points from 1994. And yes, there seems to be a trend toward the more traditional approach to arranging married life. Those are all things worth knowing and pondering, but the fact remains that the trend proceeds gradually, if not glacially, and even now represents at most a very minor aspect of American family life.

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April 12, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

It’s tempting to write off this piece by Brad Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon as the regrettably misandric and data-selective piece that it undeniably is. But, despite the accuracy of those descriptors, it also contains a germ or two of worthwhile information we’d be remiss in failing to mention (Washington Post, 4/5/17).

First those germs of information. According to the General Social Survey, the number of young Americans who say they favor the traditional norm of Dad being the primary breadwinner and Mom being the primary parent has risen steadily since its nadir in 1994. The statement respondents were asked to agree or disagree with was “it is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.” In the 1970s, 48% of people aged 18 – 25 agreed; in the 80s the number was 27%, in the 90s, 22%, in the 2000’s, it was 26% and in the teens it’s now 28%.

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April 10, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This piece by Leslie Loftis isn’t per se a response to Brad Wilcox’s articles telling men to “put a ring on it,” but it might as well be (Daily Caller, 3/31/17). Wilcox reprised the undeniable merits of marriage for men, but all but entirely ignored one of the main reasons men avoid the altar – divorce. To say the least, it was a strange omission. After all, one look at what men, and particularly fathers, go through in divorce court would have at least suggested to Wilcox – or anyone – that revitalizing the institution of marriage isn’t as simple as exhorting men to, well, marry.

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April 9, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

In my last couple of posts, I’ve written that child support in Canada is more about transferring wealth from fathers to mothers than about supporting children. I’ve also pointed out that it was radical feminists who drove the changes to family law that resulted in the child support guidelines that accomplish the transfer. Now Christie Blatchford has her best article yet on the subject corroborating exactly what I’ve said (National Post, 4/6/17).

Legal feminism was increasingly informed by radical feminism; divorce came to be seen as a source of women’s poverty; family law had blossomed as a proper branch of practice; the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms “opened the door to greater legal and judicial participation in the formation of social policy,” as [Economics professor, Paul] Millar wrote.

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April 7, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Yesterday’s piece was about a Canadian father who advised other fathers about how to conduct themselves in family courts. Much of what he said was basic and sound; some was not. Among other things, he said that, when it comes to child support, he “rolls over and plays dead,” i.e. contests nothing.

Here’s Christie Blatchford’s latest article that, whether intentionally or not, answers that advice (National Post, 4/4/17).

Unlike Jeramey A., at least Rob R. is still alive. I suspect that’s in large part due to the efforts of his current wife. But however he’s managed it, Rob R. is yet another dad who’s been financially destroyed by the laws on child support. And, like Jeramey A., much of that is because he had income imputed to him that he doesn’t earn. He was half owner of a flooring business, but, when his wife divorced him, he had to sell his share of the business to make the court-ordered payments of child support and alimony. And that, said the court, constituted willful refusal to earn up to his potential. Ergo, the judge decided Rob could earn what he had when he owned part of the business instead of the $65,000 (gross) he actually earns.

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April 6, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Still following Christie Blatchford who’s still following the nefarious doings of family courts in Canada (National Post, 3/30/17). This time she lets an unnamed father and veteran of a high-conflict divorce and child custody case do the talking for her. His goal is to advise dads who find themselves where he was not so long ago. To his credit, the man has joint custody of his child and calls himself the “spouse in the house.” I assume that means he was the one to remain in the family home post-divorce.

Much of what he advises is sound.

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April 5, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

My last post was about Canadian Jeramey A. whose relationship with his children, his financial well-being and eventually his life, were all destroyed by a vindictive ex-wife and a family court that did her bidding. Now we learn that exactly that outcome (albeit not in any specific case) was predicted by a Canadian family lawyer way back in the late 1990s (Huffington Post Canada, 3/30/17). Here’s what attorney Karen Selick says now:

I practised family law from 1985 to 2009 and was never so relieved in my life as when I finally stopped. At last, my adrenal glands could cease to work overtime; the perpetual knot in my stomach could relax. Truly, it's a horrible occupation.

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April 3, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Christie Blatchford is on a roll. This article makes for hard reading (National Post, 3/28/17). It’s the story of a husband and father, Jeramey A., who was driven to suicide by family courts, family law and family lawyers. He apparently went into his divorce and custody case anticipating fairness and reason. That belief was terribly mistaken. What he found was a court, lawyers and an ex-wife who weren’t satisfied with fairness or reason. They wanted blood and they got it.

Jeramey A. once had a thriving business in British Columbia installing microwave towers for various companies. But the worst thing happened. His business dried up just about the time his wife filed for divorce. Did she do so because his business dried up? Blatchford doesn’t say, but the timing is suggestive. That of course meant that his child support and alimony payments were calculated, not on what he was earning, but on what he once earned.

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April 2, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

To all of you who believe that Lena Dunham is completely worthless, allow me to disagree. The same person whom Camille Paglia memorably called a “pile of pudding” provides a very valuable public service – she lets us see just how misguided, how truly dysfunctional this culture is becoming. Whoever will become our Edward Gibbon, please take note.

Dunham of course is in no small way responsible for the television show Girls that inadvertently monitors the decline of the West. Here’s an article about a recent episode of Girls in which the aforesaid P of P reveals to a girlfriend that she’s pregnant (Newsbusters, 3/20/17).

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March 31, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Family court? Or Bedlam? You decide.

Christie Blatchford’s excellent and well-informed piece gives us the briefest squint into the crazy doings inside a Toronto family court, you know, the one that’s supposed to act in the best interests of the child (National Post, 3/23/17).

As Blatchford’s tone implies, there’s nothing really so remarkable about her subject case. As awful as it is, I’ve written about many that have been worse. And to her credit, Blatchford doesn’t draw conclusions. She lets her readers do that from the bare-bones facts of the case. For example,

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March 23, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

As I said yesterday, Rachlin and Frankel’s immodest proposal for the state to march into delivery rooms, remove newborns from their mothers and fathers and hand them to someone – anyone – else, never mentions the science of parental attachment and is overtly a political screed. That parents are uniformly referred to by the authors as “genetic chauvinists” only underscores the point.

That makes it all the more remarkable that the two psychologists are aware enough of political reality to admit that their suggestion is utterly impossible politically, as it ought to be.

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