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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.  

Los Angeles, CA--A reader tipped us to a recent "Judge Judy" episode in which mother Amica Coleman is berated for a planned move-away and grilled about her accusations against father Donald Ballard, Jr. The "judge" here is Judtih Sheindlin, a former New York family court judge who has presided over a top-rated reality-based court TV show for 11 years. In the episode, which you can watch here, the mom is seeking payment from the father for day care costs from a brief period when they shared custody. A big part of the show's popularity is Judge Judy's lecturing of plaintiffs or defendants as she loses patience with them, and she doesn't fail to disappoint here. In response to mom's plan to move the son from California to North Carolina, the Judge tells mom, "Your child has known his father since the time he was born. Don't you think that's rather selfish of you?" And, "Ms. Coleman, it's always a bad thing when you take a child away from a parent. You chose Mr. Ballard to father your child, you lived with him for a long time, unfortunately you haven't been able to work out the custody aspects in a way that respects the child's long-term well-being." The show isn't perfect, and the dad gets taken to task too. Yet a litany of accusations from the mom are countered by the dad, or shot down by Judge Judy. The overwhelming message is that the father is fighting to stay involved in his son's life while the mom erects every roadblock possible. Hence Judge Judy's frustration. And, Judge Judy denies the mother's financial claim at the end. We're sensing a theme here: in another episode this year, Judge Judy rips into a mom whose son is forced to sue her for visitation rights to see his little sister. Watch here. And, in response to another recent show involving paternity fraud, Judge Judy's website is running a poll asking, "Do you think paternity testing should be mandatory in cases involving child support?" We encourage all readers to go here and vote "yes". The results so far: 80% in favor.

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