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.  

November 24th, 2012 by Michael Sherron
Fathers and Families is asking NC Governor Pat McCrory to start talking with NC Senate and House leaders about bringing the presumption for Equally Shared Parenting to NC Children so that they can experience direct support, love, guidance, and nurturing from both parents and extended families. As a reader of this article, be it a non-custodial parent, step-parent, grandparent, or other interested party, it is important to widely share this article with other NC non-custodial family members on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other networks to help rally them around this issue. Governor Pat McCrory needs to hear from NC non-custodial families numbering in the millions that they are tired of being marginalized in their childrens lives as visitors 5 days a month. NC Governor Pat McCrory needs to understand that having two equal parents at the table for children that are providing emotional, physical, psychological, and direct financial support to them brings far greater resources and opportunities than any big government enforcement agency like child support enforcement can ever deliver. Fathers and Families strongly believes that in situations where custodial parents who are receiving expanding social services like educational assistance, housing assistance, food assistance, medical assistance, job assistance, and other programs which is creating havoc on the NC budget, that there will be less of a need for these programs when you have the non-custodial parent and extended family in the lives of children. NC Governor Pat McCrory needs to understand that currently in the NC Family Law system, non-custodial parents and families are pushed to the margins of kids lives and can only offer financial help to their children.
Fathers and Families did not endorse Candidate McCrory in his run for the Governor, nor is the posting of this video meant to imply an endorsement for future elections. This video is here to remind Governor McCrory of NC non-custodial family struggles as outlined below.

Governor Pat McCrory and the NC Family Law System

  • Governor McCrory must understand that the current family law courts are about one parent winning, and the other parent losing. This system sets the stage for further despair, animosity, anger, and anxiety for the non-custodial parent and extended family after a divorce. Father and Families believes that no one parent should win in the court system, and that courts should reward two parents for working together for the betterment of the children.
  • Governor Pat McCrory and the NC Legislature must understand that the current Family Law system puts NC children at an economic disadvantage for decades. Currently, the average child custody battle costs EACH parent about $20,000 and statistics show that these parents will fight two in eighteen years. Additionally, parents will find minor contempt battles, child support enforcement battles, custody modification battles, and other battles costing more money. Fathers and Families believes that NC Parents spend at a minimum of $100,000 over the life of the minor child. Fathers and Families would like to see this money go towards a child’s education, healthcare, a home, or to start a business.
  • Governor Pat McCrory and The NC House and Senate needs to understand that the current NC Family Law System pits two parents against each other in an attempt to win a court battle. NC Parents are using every means available to win and this has dramatic negative effects on children. Through Shared Parenting, there is nothing to win because both parents will be equalized. When NC Judges change the current stage from “OK, You guys fight it out and whoever has the most dirt loses” to that of “You both are going to present a shared parenting plan for the benefit of the child and whoever does not abide by it loses” then you will see less conflict between parents.
  • Consistently, more and more studies show that children who have significant access to fathers (the usual non-custodial parent) do better in school, have less emotional problems, are able to resist drugs, and avoid pregnancy until later in life.
  • Governor Pat McCrory must understand that we believe hundreds of thousands of NC non-custodial parents do not have the money for an attorney to seize visitation rights to their children, or advocate for them in the courts. There should be no pay wall for a parent to see his/her children.
  • Governor Pat McCrory and NC Representatives and Senators must understand that 40% of children born today in NC come from non-married parents, and under current law, the biological father has zero rights and access to the child unless he can find $5000-7000 and hire an attorney to legitimate the children. This is assuming if he is ever aware that he has a child.
  • Governor Pat McCrory and the NC Legislature needs to understand that NC non-custodial families are going bankrupt hiring private attorneys at $5000 per incident when custodial parents get free government lawyers each time child support wants to be modified by the custodial parent.
  • Governor McCrory and NC Representatives should be aware that whenever a custodial parent gets into trouble financially, social service is able to save them using housing assistance, job assistance, food assistance, medical assistance, psychological assistance, other assistance programs and tax incentives. When non-custodial parents get into trouble financially, they go to jail. Governor, would it not make more sense to strengthen BOTH parents for the good of NC children?
  • Fathers and Families is sending the message to NC Governor Pat McCrory that it is time to stop ALL NC adoptions until amended legislation is in place protecting a biological father from having a child he did not know existed from being adopted out. Consistently, we are hearing more and more fathers tell us that they learned about a biological child of theirs being adopted out because the mother of the child refused to help adoptions agencies discover the father. Fathers and Families is not against adoptions, but we do believe that a biological parent’s natural love outweighs an adoptive family’s love. This issue not only affects NC Fathers, but the many women in paternal families who have a natural love for their biologically related children.
Republican Governor Pat McCrory

Statement on Positive Outcomes with NC Shared Parenting

Fathers and Families believes there are many positive outcomes for NC children in families with shared parenting, and we are asking Governor Pat McCrory to review this information when considering legislation surrounding it.

  • First and foremost, despite the breakup of a marriage, NC Children still have a family. Equally Shared Parenting is the next best thing to preserving that feeling of knowing that you have a mother, father, grandparents, and aunts and uncles that are consistently in your life. Under current NC Law and in the family law courts, non-custodial parents and extended families are pushed far into the margins of a child’s life.
  • A NC Equally Shared Parenting initiative means less drain on Welfare and Low Income Assistance programs. When NC non-custodial parents, step-parents, and other family members are brought into equality with the custodial parent and have considerably more time to directly support children, there will be 50% more resources and opportunities to meet kids needs, thus decreasing the need for public assistance.
  • Governor Pat McCrory should know NC Family Law reform and equally shared parenting creates more free time for custodial mothers to further a college education (or add to formal education), learn a trade, start a business, or pursue social endeavors.
  • Equally Shared Parenting will allow fathers the opportunity to put into action fatherhood initiatives have taught them. Why have a fatherhood initiative if you are never going to allow these parents to put what they learned into action?
  • Mandating shared physical custody or equally shared parenting will lead to a reduction in bitter, destructive child custody battles, which put intense emotional strain on children following a divorce or separation. Fathers and Families believes that Governor Pat McCrory surely understands the importance of this.
  • NC Shared Parenting will decrease domestic violence. Many times prior, during, and after a divorce, one parent will fear losing touch with their kids because it is widely known in NC that there is a system that mandates that one parent has the majority of time with the children, and the other parent does not. In NC, 85% of parents are fathers in a State that has no presumption for which parent gets custody. Additionally, Family Law Judges consistently allow a custodial parent to move a child hundreds of miles away from a non-custodial family. This fear, anxiety, despair, and emotional struggle unfortunately leads to domestic violence.
Statement on Social Security Title IV-D Legislation

Fathers and Families wants Governor Pat McCrory to understand that the Social Security Act, Title IV, Part D, and specifically section 458 which is entitled “Incentive Payments To States” is a revenue stream for NC Social Services Jobs, Programs, and Services. In NC, for each dollar collected by Child Support Enforcement, the State gets back a match amount of federal money that is then used to replenish Welfare money. While at face value this may seem positive, it actually isn’t because the State of NC has become dependent on this money and NEEDS non-custodial parents as far from their children as possible so that they pay greater child support money and trigger greater federal money. Fathers and Families has faith in Governor McCrory, the NC Senate, House of Representatives, and Family Law Judges to find an alternative way to fund Social Services outside of separating kids from half of their family.

Statement For The Argument That Fathers Just Want Shared Parenting To Lower Their Child Support

The argument that Fathers just want to have equal parentage and access to their children to lower child support is a clever argument by those opposed to shared parenting because it tries to rope others into believing the stigma that all Fathers are Deadbeat. The fact is, if this were about money then Fathers would be screaming the loudest AGAINST shared parenting because the fact is, under Shared Parenting Fathers will expend far greater dollars when they have their children equal amounts of the time. This argument is an attempt to socialize responsible fatherhood in with paying a big government enforcement agency money so that Title IV-D funds will be generated back to the State of NC. The greater responsibility in fatherhood is directly supporting children financially, emotionally, physically, and psychologically. This is something that child support enforcement doesn’t offer. Therefore, we encourage Governor Pat McCrory to resist this argument when the opposition and Family Law lobby meets with you.

Statement On Shared Parenting in NC Not Being Needed Because There Is Proof Fathers Do Not Want Shared Parenting

Many groups who oppose equally shared parenting say that fathers give up custody and equal parentage in agreements outside of a court room 80% of the time and this proves that the majority of fathers prefer not to be equal parents. Again, while this is true, the fact is that fathers know that if they go into a family court and ask for equal parentage or joint physical custody/shared parenting, that they will lose and most likely end up with less than what is being offered outside of court and made a deal they were not comfortable with. Why go to a Family Law court and spend $20,000 just to lose and see less of your children that what is being offered outside court for free even if it is not optimal? Again, we encourage Governor Pat McCrory to resist this argument when the opposition and Family Law lobby meets with you.

Opposition Governor Pat McCrory Is Likely To Receive From Those Opposed To Shared Parenting and NC Family Law Reform

  • American Bar Association/NC State Bar: If Governor Pat McCrory decides to encourage the NC Senate and House to consider Shared Parenting in NC, he is going to meet serious resistance from Lawyers and Judges. While they will have a myriad of cherry picked reasons why shared parenting is dangerous for children, the fact is under shared parenting, without parents fighting for 18 years NC lawyers are not receiving their enormous retainer fees and hourly fees that are charged in Family Law cases. NC Judges will resist Family Law reform and shared parenting because it will take away their discretion in what they say is needed because every case is different. Unfortunately, with 100% discretion comes the ability to abuse the system and legislate from the bench or allow biases to come into play without an accountability.
  • Governor Pat McCrory will undoubtedly meet resistance from “Womens Rights Groups” like the National Organization For Women” who also will bring cherry picked statistics and reasons why Family Law Reform and Shared Parenting is a bad idea for Women and Children. The immediate problem we see for these organizations is that for decades they were about advancement for equality, but in Family Law they are asking for inequality. To Fathers and Families this smells of disingenuous agendas and politics at play. Furthermore, and this is important, there are a LOT of women who are hurt in a divisive Family Law system. These women include step-mothers, paternal grandmothers, aunts, female step-children, now adult female children, and even custodial mothers with male children who will find themselves marginalized later in life if we do not have Family Law reform in NC.
  • Domestic Violence Groups in NC will also oppose any type of Family Law Reform and Shared Parenting because they feel that Shared Parenting means that Fathers will have greater access and chances to kill and hurt children and former spouses. In addition, these groups will have their own set of cherry picked statements and professionals in the radical Womens groups with what seems like compelling data. However, Fathers and Families asks Governor Pat McCrory to use some common sense around domestic violence. First, custodial mothers and women hit, intimidate, and use control every day and nobody in these groups are talking about them crossing some hurdle to be with their kids. And, if you believe THEIR statistics that more domestic violence is committed from men, does it really matter WHO is doing it the most? The problem is Domestic Violence, not which gender is doing it the most. And, in reality, does Governor McCrory really believe that the best way to de-escalate a father from committing domestic violence is to completely alienate him from his children, see them moved hundreds of miles away, and watch as the women in his family get hurt? Fathers and Families is appealing to Governor Pat McCrory not to give into the gender warfare and politics surrounding Domestic Violence by those who want to make it a political football for their agendas.
Statement on False Allegations of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Fathers and Families hears daily from many non-custodial families, be it fathers, mothers, and men and women in the extended family who tell us that the majority of child custody battles and child support enforcement cases today involve some type of false allegation of Domestic Violence or Abuse in the hopes of gaining a tactical advantage in the NC Family Courts. Given the emotion surrounding these issues, many NC Judges are allowing these false allegations to proceed to conviction to “be on the safe side.” The problems with this is, that a simple allegation in NC can lead to complete alienation of children from their fathers, step-mothers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles, and step-siblings.

Governor Pat McCrory and NC Non-Custodial Family Voters

Undoubtedly Governor Pat McCrory is aware of the divorce statistics in NC, and rate at which parents are having children outside of marriage. With that, Fathers and Families believes that roughly HALF of the NC population has either a direct tie or indirect tie to a NC non-custodial family member who sees the struggle they endure within the NC Family Law system and courts. Furthermore, Governor McCrory needs to understand that non-custodial families come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, political party affiliations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. And, one can clearly see that many WOMEN in non-custodial families are equally hurt in the NC Family Courts unless we bring about reform for the presumption for Equally Shared Parenting.

How You Can Help Send The Message To Governor Pat McCrory That Family Law Reform in NC Is Needed, And That Shared Parenting Is In The Best Interest of Children.

1) Contact the Governor via email and send him to this blog, and be sure to show your support for Fathers and Families Shared Parenting mission: (Coming Soon Once The Newly Elected Governor Has a Website Up)

2) Call Governor McCrory personally and tell him your story as a non-custodial family member: (Coming Soon)

3) Send a message to the Governor on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PatMcCroryNC

4) Using Twitter, tweet this blog to the Governor under his Twitter name: @patmccrorync – Be sure to add the Twitter hashtags #ncleg #ncga and #ncpol to the end of your tweet.

5) Find your local NC Representative and Senator and email them a link to this blog: For House Representatives: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House and for State Senators: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=Senate

6) Extensively share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other networks.

7) Help Support Fathers and Families: http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/give-a-gift

8) Join Fathers and Families on Facebook

9) If you have a website or blog, please copy and paste the code below into your site to help support Governor Pat McCrory in bringing Equally Shared Parenting and Family Law reform to NC.

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