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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.  

(International Conference on Shared Parenting Blogs
International Conference on Shared Parenting a Huge Success! (06-01-2017)
Fabulous Conference Supports Shared Parenting (06-01-2017)
International Conference on Shared Parenting, Day One (06-02-2017)
International Conference on Shared Parenting: Day Two (06-07-2017))

The National Parents Organization’s International Conference on Shared Parenting wrapped up Tuesday evening. By any measure, it was a resounding success. Attendees came away both informed and energized. There is every possibility that we will look back in the coming years and see the conference as a watershed moment in the history of family court reform.

People came from 24 countries, some from as far away as Australia and Japan to hear an all-star lineup of scientists report on the state of what we know about shared parenting and its effects on children, parents and the courts. That alone would have been worth the price of admission, but there was more. Activists about equaled scientists not only in number but in fervor. The all-important issue of translating science into public policy was taken head-on in break-out sessions and strides were made in understanding how to accomplish that.

The scientists at the conference included such luminaries as Sanford Braver, Richard Warshak, Linda Nielsen, Irwin Sandler, Michael Lamb and William Fabricius. Most importantly, they agreed that the science on shared parenting is now sufficiently well established for us to say that shared parenting should be the default position in family courts. That is, there is no longer any doubt about the benefits of shared parenting to children, parents and the judicial process that’s significant enough to delay making shared parenting public policy everywhere. There is no doubt about its superiority to sole parenting.

The science of the matter is established. Yes, science will go on and new revelations made, but the big picture has been painted. We will continue to flesh out the details of how best to utilize shared parenting models. But the question is no longer “whether;” it is now only “of what sort?” The anti-dad crowd truly has nothing on which to hang its battered hat. It may continue its practice of shockingly dishonest attacks on children’s well-being, but ever after, those who promote shared parenting can do so secure in the knowledge that solid science unequivocally supports what we’ve long suspected – that children need two parents in their lives, regardless of how those adults arrange theirs.

We can now say to those who train judges that any training that fails to support shared parenting in the overwhelming majority of child custody cases is faulty and must be replaced. The burden is now squarely on activists to see that shared parenting, about which there is now no real doubt, not only becomes law but alters cultural norms.

The International Conference on Shared Parenting was the first step toward that goal. There need to be more as we hone our skills at combatting and defeating the few narrow but influential special interests that would put their own pocketbooks and bankrupt ideologies ahead of children’s welfare and that of society at large.

Over the next few days, I’ll be writing in more detail about the conference, what was said and what was done. For now, I need to say that we must all give a loud shout-out to Ned Holstein who worked tirelessly over many months to make this exceptional event a reality. It was a great conference, shock waves from which promise to be felt for years to come.

Excellent work, Ned!

#InternationalConferenceonSharedParenting, #sharedparenting

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