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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.  

"There is no pain greater on this earth to be told by the court system that you can only see your child every other weekend... "I was involved in every aspect [of my kids' lives] you can think of until my relationship with my child's mother ended. The courts treated me as if I was never a parent at all."--Fathers & Families supporter Barry Mello Fathers & Families' recent Massachusetts Democrats campaign was a success, as members attended 20 of the Massachusetts Democratic Party's Platform Hearings held around the state and urged the Party to adopt Shared Parenting. Moreover, roughly 100 Fathers & Families members and supporters who are registered Democrats submitted their testimony to be considered by the Massachusetts Democratic Party in revising its Platform via http://massdemsplatform.blogspot.com. Massachusetts is a very difficult state for fathers, one of the worst in the nation. The entrenched forces against us--principally the misguided women's groups and domestic violence coalitions (along with the attorneys' groups)--oppose Shared Parenting, and won't be moved easily. However, the structure of these Platform Hearings gave some of the leaders of the Democratic Party the opportunity to go over these entrenched groups' heads and talk directly to the people. What they heard was that people want Shared Parenting, just as in 2004 when Fathers & Families successfully led a Massachusetts Ballot Initiative which won 86% of the popular vote. Below we've selected some of the best of the written testimony to be considered by the Massachusetts Democratic Party in revising its Platform. Shared Parenting so dominated the testimony submittal process that in searching for comments to use, I didn't even need to use a search term like "shared parenting," but instead just reviewed all the testimony. Fathers & Families supporter Jennifer Robertson wrote:
Children need a mom and a dad, period. Why does the state continue to punish those dads who sincerely want to be a part of their childrens' lives by favoring the mother? There are too many mothers out there abusing the system and denying their children the right to form a positivie relationship with their fathers. And I'm saying all this as a woman. All this could be prevented if parents were treated equally in court. Support shared parenting.
Fathers & Families supporter Mark Wirtanen said...
My ex was allowed by the court to take our two children to California over a decade ago. I last saw them in December and haven't spoken to them in months. I pay more than the court-ordered child support yet am shortchanged routinely on visitations by an ex who doesn't follow the judge's rulings...Shared parenting has been proven to be beneficial to children. Let's support this important measure.
Fathers & Families supporter Jason Green, a 31-year-old tech worker from Medford, wrote:
My ex-girlfriend had my son in another state after we broke up. She never told me. [Later] she came to Massachusetts and I petitioned for custody when she told me about him. Instead I was handed a bill for two years of back child support and a visitation schedule that she can ignore. The court appointed GAL recommended I receive custody, [but the] Judge ignored her. My son had to see a therapist for nightmares... Shared custody must be made mandatory right now. Society is being torn asunder. For God's sake, do something.
Fathers & Families supporter Barry Mello said...
Shared Parenting, I can only wish this becomes a reality. There is no pain greater on this earth to be told by the court system that you can only see your child every other weekend as long as the mother of the children agrees. I was a father who changed diapers, feed and cleaned my child. I was involved in every aspect you can think of until my relationship with my child's mother ended. The courts treated me as if I was never a parent at all.
We will keep supporters abreast of further developments. To see previous Fathers & Families postings, click here, here and here.

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