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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Update (March 27, 2011): Fathers and Families" shared parenting bill has languished in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in past years.  We believe it might have suffered a similar fate this session, in part, because Co-Chairwoman Cynthia Creem of Newton, a divorce lawyer, has strongly opposed shared parenting bills in the past. Now, through our efforts, we have managed to get our shared parenting bill assigned to a different committee, the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.  While the bill still faces an uphill battle, we hope that it will get a fair and thoughtful hearing in this committee. The bill now has a permanent number: H02684. (Previous numbers were temporary and should be disregarded.) Its lead sponsor is Representative John Scibak  ("Sigh-back"). It is entitled "A Bill Relative to Supporting Children and Parental Custody." It supports children and strengthens families by creating a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting in divorce cases, so that children can sustain their loving relationships with both parents. Fathers and Families continues to seek lead volunteers to coordinate our efforts to win over legislators. If you are willing to take a lead role, please contact me at [email protected] by email or at (617) 542-9300. To learn more about the bill, please see our Massachusetts Shared Parenting page here. Together with you in the love of our children, Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers and Families ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Update (February 8, 2011): Your Citizen Lobbyist efforts of the past several weeks have paid off, as nearly 30% of all Massachusetts legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of Shared Parenting legislation. We're building a strong Citizen Lobbyist Program in Massachusetts and we want you to be a part of it--sign up here. H02684, lead sponsored by Representative John Scibak, supports children and strengthens families by creating a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting in divorce cases, so that children can sustain their loving relationships with both parents. To learn more about the bill, visit our Massachusetts Shared Parenting campaign page here. A complete list of Massachusetts legislators who signed on to co-sponsor Shared Parenting legislation for 2011 is below.

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Fathers and Families gathered thousands of signatures to place shared parenting on the 2004 Massachusetts ballot and led a successful campaign for its passage, winning 86% of the vote. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told the Legislature that if they pass our shared parenting bill, he will sign it, and F & F  met with Patrick.

Through our efforts and the efforts of our allies, shared parenting was the most-requested plank in the Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the most popular issue on the Governor"s website in 2009.  Shared parenting was endorsed in principle by the editorial board of the Boston Globe in 2008. This is the year we plan to push Shared Parenting over the top--to join our efforts, sign up here.

To contribute financially to support Fathers & Families' work on H02684 and Shared Parenting, please click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. Founder, Chairman of the Board Glenn Sacks, MA Executive Director Massachusetts Legislators Who Signed on to Co-Sponsor Shared Parenting Legislation for 2011 Paul  Adams 17th Essex Denise Andrews 2nd Franklin James Arciero 2nd Middlesex F. Jay  Barrows 1st Bristol Matthew  Beaton 11th Worcester Jennifer E.  Benson 37th Middlesex John J. Binienda 17th Worcester Stephen M.  Brewer Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin William N.  Brownsberger 24th Middlesex Thomas J.  Calter 12th Plymouth Linda Dean Campbell 15th Essex Sal N.  DiDomenico Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex James J. Dwyer 30th Middlesex Carolyn C. Dykema 8th Middlesex Kimberly Ferguson 1st Worcester Paul K.  Frost 7th Worcester Sean  Garballey 23rd Middlesex Colleen M. Garry 36th Middlesex Anne M. Gobi 5th Worcester Thomas A. Golder, Jr. 16th Middlesex Robert L.  Hedlund Plymouth and Norfolk Carlos Henriquez 5th Suffolk Bradford Hill 4th Essex Kate  Hogan 3rd Middlesex Bradley H. Jones, Jr. 20th Middlesex Brian A. Joyce Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth Thomas P.  Kennedy Second Plymouth and Bristol Michael R.  Knapik Second Hampden and Hampshire Robert M. Koczera 11th Bristol Kevin Kuros 8th Worcester Steven L. Levy 4th Middlesex Jason M. Lewis 31st Middlesex David Paul Linsky 5th Middlesex James  Lyons 18th Essex Thomas M. McGee Third Essex and Middlesex Paul  McMurtry 11th Norfolk Aaron Michlewitz 3rd Suffolk Shaunna  O'Connell 3rd Bristol James J. O'Day 14th Worcester George N. Peterson, Jr. 9th Worcester Anthony W.  Petruccelli First Suffolk and Middlesex Elizabeth Poirier 14th Bristol John P. Presolo 16th Worcester Angelo J.  Puppolo, Jr. 12th Hampden Richard J.  Ross Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex Angelo M. Scaccia 14th Suffolk Carl M. Sciortino, Jr. 34th Middlesex Todd M. Smola 1st Hampden Joyce A.  Spiliotis 12th Essex David B.  Sullivan 6th Bristol Benjamin Swan 11th Hampden Bruce E. Tarr First Essex and Middlesex James E. Timilty Bristol and Norfolk Walter F.  Timilty 7th Norfolk Steven A. Tolman Second Suffolk and Middlesex Chris Walsh 6th Middlesex Daniel Winslow 9th Norfolk

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