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September 19, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

I can’t be sure from this article, but it looks like the Arizona Supreme Court may have made a big mistake (AZ Central, 9/17/18).  The article is well done, but I need to read the SC decision and that of the Court of Appeals before I can be sure what happened.

Suffice it to say that, if writer Mary Jo Pitzl is correct, this case should be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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September 17, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

With divorce rates on the rise in India, it’s time our lawmakers gave serious thought to amending the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act to alleviate the trauma that children of estranged parents undergo during the divorce proceedings and the custodial battle.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The linked-to article goes to bat for a presumption of shared parenting in India (Hindustan Times, 9/12/18).

At present, courts are empowered to grant a child’s custody to either parent depending on the child’s overall interests and well-being. 

So it appears that Indian courts don’t have the authority to order shared parenting, even if they want to. That said though, they’ve done so in the past.

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September 16, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

It’s not just the camel’s nose that’s inside the tent; now the whole smelly beast is living with us.  It’s eating our food and drinking our wine.  How long before it asks us to leave our own tent?  How long after that will it be before it simply shoves us out?

I refer of course to child protective authorities.  What began as a laudable effort to protect children from abusive parents has become a multi-billion dollar industry that grows larger every year.  To do that, it’s had to identify an ever-increasing number of parental behaviors that qualify as abuse.  Or neglect.  Or the risk of abuse.  Or the risk of neglect.  Or emotional harm.  Or the risk of emotional harm (The Guardian, 9/14/18).

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September 14, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Amazingly, Forbes has allowed itself to become the vehicle for some truly misleading claims by British writer Lauren Coulman (Forbes, 9/12/18). Her subject is the earnings gap between men and women. Unable to produce figures or facts indicating the gap’s being the result of anti-female discrimination, Coulman resorts to verbal legerdemain.

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September 13, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The campaign against recognizing parental alienation continues in this article (BBC, 9/12/18). The writer, “education editor” Branwen Jeffreys should consider educating herself before writing such a piece. The nut of the matter according to Jeffreys is that the very existence of PA is “controversial” and so any claim that it’s occurring should be looked at askance.

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September 12, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Recently I wrote a piece, once again pointing out the profound ignorance of British former family lawyer, John Bolch. His blog post was about child support and, as is always the case with Bolch, contained many smug assertions that don’t bear even casual scrutiny. But I find I was too kind.

Bolch tossed off the usual boilerplate about child support. In answer to the hypothetical question of why a non-resident parent should have to pay child support, Bolch responded with this, assuming the truth to be self-evident:

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NPO's Ohio Parenting Time Report is getting a lot of media attention in Ohio, with journalists in different counties asking how their county fared and how things can change. Research shows that children do better when they have plenty of time with both parents, and this report is leading those in Ohio to ask, "how can we do better?" 

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September 10, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Even Ph.Ds. in psychology don’t get it (Fox News, 9/9/18). Honestly, you’d think Dr. Kevin Leman would, but alas, he doesn’t. If you’re going to advise clients going through divorce (which he does), it would seem to be Job One to, you know, read the literature on the subject.

Leman offers some perfectly sound advice to parents about how to deal with their kids during divorce.

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September 9, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Here’s yet another story that argues persuasively for requiring women to name the father of a child one gives birth to (NewsHub, 4/9/18).

An Australian man the article calls Kerry and a woman, Julie, had a one-night stand 20 years ago. She had a child and named Kerry the father. He assumed she was telling the truth. She wasn’t. For the next 18 years, he paid child support for the child. For some reason,

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This poll taken by Public Policy Polling after the passage of the first in the nation shared parenting law in Kentucky shows that voters overwhelmingly support shared parenting after divorce or separation. The poll results are getting a lot of media attention, which is great news for the shared parenting movement! This article through the Public News Service includes an interview with NPO of Kentucky Chair Matt Hale. We will keep our readers updated on these great results for shared parenting around the nation. 

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September 5, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Do I see the next exhibit on offer by those who seek to convince anyone who’ll listen that parental alienation is junk science and a plot by fathers to wrest custody from “protective mothers?” I just may. Richard Ducote and the various journalists who’ve put forward that nonsense may want to take note. Karin Wolf may be just the person for them.

Wolf’s latest shenanigans have involved abducting her 14-year-old child from its father, Edward Crane (North Jersey, 9/3/18). She was apprehended after a nine-day investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies. She’s been charged with interference with child custody and contempt of court in Glen Rock, New Jersey.    

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September 3, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Today’s the day we celebrate the contributions of the men and women who work every day to make everyone’s life easier, better, fuller and safer. We probably should do it more often.

A few weeks ago I watched a short Jordan Peterson video in which he pointed out to his interlocutor how fantastically complicated our economic system is. For us consumers to get, say, a fresh head of lettuce in a super market involves so many different moving parts of the economy as to boggle the mind. The fields have to produce, the produce needs to be harvested at the right time, it must be inspected, cleaned and packaged, put on a truck that functions and whose refrigeration system does as well. The driver has to drive the truck to market, there must be fuel for the truck at a place where it’s needed, the produce needs to be unloaded and displayed in a refrigerated area of the store. And of course every single aspect of the system I just mentioned has its own massively complex support system. For example the crude oil that’s the basis of the diesel fuel has to be extracted, refined, etc. Electrical systems have to be maintained and function properly. Etc., etc.

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September 2, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Continuing from Friday with the latest Bolch fiasco.

Bolch pretends that, since money is fungible, there’s no way we can ascertain what a custodial parent is spending her child support money on. Of course if we were to take seriously the problem many fathers have with feeling their money doesn’t go to the child but to the mother who wants nothing to do with them except the bi-weekly check, we could establish as system much like our food stamp one. That is, we could denominate certain child-specific items (e.g. diapers) that could be bought with a child support debit card and other items (e.g. alcohol) that couldn’t be.

That would solve the problem at least for the most part. But Bolch is convinced the only way we can conclude that child support isn’t going to the child is if this happens:

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August 31, 2018 by Robert Frabklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

No sooner do I deal with the ignorance of Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell on the subject of child support than our old friend and punching bag John Bolch chimes in on the same subject (Marilyn Stowe Blog, 8/28/18). Unsurprisingly, the results are much the same. In his invariable zeal to support the status quo and oppose fathers legitimate interests, Bolch gets much wrong about his chosen topic. That said though, I must admit that his piece is better than Mitchell’s. He actually gets a fact or two correct and raises a coherent argument. I’ve never before said that Bolch’s work is superior to anyone’s, but in this case the fact is the fact. Yes, it’s setting the bar at ground level, but there it is.

It seems Bolch has heard various non-custodial fathers complaining that they have to pay to support their kids.

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National Parents Organization has completed a study—the first of its kind—of the parenting time guidelines of each of Ohio’s 88 county courts of domestic relations. These guidelines are intended to guide divorcing parents in setting a parenting time schedule for their children and, often, are explicitly presented as default schedules, “for parents who cannot agree otherwise.” Because these guideline schedules have a significant effect on the schedules parents agree on and those imposed when parents do not agree, they are important factors in shaping the actual parenting of children of divorced parents.

A large and compelling body of recent scientific research shows that children of separated parents benefit from substantially equal parenting time with each parent. (See “NPO Shared Parenting Research Resources” for citations and links.) This means that the defaults that courts set in place are important in promoting the best interest of children. And, importantly, the research established that this is true even for infants and toddlers and even when parents are in (non-violent) high-conflict relationships.

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Ashland, Kentucky newspaper The Daily Independent published this staff editorial calling Kentucky's first in the nation shared parenting law "long overdue." We agree and thank the staff at The Daily Independent for joining the shared parenting movement and recognizing what is best for children. Read the entire editorial here.

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August 29, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This article
 begins with this sentence (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/27/18):

It boggles my mind that last year in Illinois, parents owed almost $900 million in child support.

Here’s what boggles my mind: experienced writers who choose to write about subjects about which they know little.  Such a writer is Mary Mitchell, author of the linked-to piece.  Not only does she know almost nothing about child support, she’s not interested in learning.  If she were, she’d probably have done certain obvious things to educate herself. 

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There is an article in The Daily Independent on Kentucky's first in the nation shared parenting law. A recent poll by Public Policy Polling shows that Kentuckians favor the new law, with 84% of respondents agreeing that a child would benefit from equal time with both parents. The author spoke with Matt Hale, Chairman of the Kentucky chapter of National Parents Organization, and Senator Robin Webb of Kentucky on how this bill has been one of the most popular passed this year.

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August 27, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Another day, another boatload of tax money spent for no good reason (Reason, 8/22/18).  It’s the inimitable Lenore Skenazy again with another tale of bureaucratic overreaching, this time on the part of a Wilmette, IL child protective agency.

What were they investigating this time?  An eight-year-old girl walking the family dog.  In her own neighborhood.  Within sight of her mother.  That most normal of situations was anonymously reported to the police who paid a surprise visit to the girl’s mother, Corey Widen.  They left without further ado, but soon the Department of Children and Family Services showed up.  And they didn’t leave the matter at just a quick interview of Widen.  No, they interviewed Widen’s other children, various relatives and the girl’s pediatrician.

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August 26, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The National Parents Organization is looking to catch a wave. For some years now, NPO has been the largest, strongest and most effective organization in the country and possibly the world for family court reform. As the arguments in favor of shared parenting grow ever more numerous and stronger, and those against it become weaker and less coherent, NPO believes the wave will continue to grow. Every year, up to half of state legislatures consider bills to make parenting time more equal between mothers and fathers. This past year we saw Kentucky pass the first ever presumption of equal parenting time. Other states, like Arizona, Utah and Missouri have passed less explicit laws that still move us toward equal parenting.

In short, it looks like the momentum for shared parenting will only continue to increase. And of course NPO will be leading the charge toward more just and equitable family courts across the country.

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August 24, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

In this case, it’s taken one mother and two courts in separate countries to deny a child a relationship with her father (Marilyn Stowe Blog, 8/22/18). It looks to have been hard work, but they managed the feat. And of course, the ever bland and gob-smackingly dense John Bolch agrees. Where would we be without Bolch to pillory in the internet town square to the delight of the crowd that actually knows something about family courts and children’s well-being? John, it’s good for a man to have a purpose in life and that appears to be yours.

An American man and a Latvian woman seem to have been married in England and had a daughter in October of 2015. They separated about three months later.

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August 23, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Here’s a bit of good news (IFS, 8/16/18).  And indeed it is just a “bit.”  But good news is good news, even if there’s not a lot of it.

The rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing is declining.  It’s dropped to under 40% of all births, the first time that’s been the case since about 2004.  It rose steadily from 1960 to about 2008 and has declined until 2015, the last year for which we have full data.  The declining trend is the more remarkable because adults of childbearing age are getting married later than ever and the incidence of cohabitation is greater.  Those two things would tend to militate in favor or greater non-marital childbearing, but instead the rate is coming down.

Needless to say, this is good news that I hope will continue.  Children born to and living with single parents tend strongly to do worse than children living in intact families.  The evidence for that has been developed over decades and is overwhelming.  But at some point in the late 60s and early 70s, we as a society got the bright idea that fathers were expendable, that all children really needed was a single primary caregiver.  Unsurprisingly, that person was all but invariably Mom.

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August 22, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

We can now add New Hampshire to the list of states whose child welfare agencies are performing abysmally (Union Leader, 8/17/18). There it’s so bad that the state’s Division for Children, Youth and Families failed in all seven categories considered by the federal Department of Health and Human Services as necessary to a functional child protective agency. That’s right, every single one.

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Robert Franklin, Member of our National Board of Directors, has an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle you can read here. It highlights how surveys and polls around the nation have shown that Americans overwhelmingly support shared parenting and that laws need to be enacted to reflect the will of the people. 

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