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.
March 17, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
This continues from my previous piece on Guardian editor Sonia Sodha’s, article claiming that it’s a “fallacy” that fathers aren’t treated equally by British family courts. To that threadbare claim she attempts to recruit a 2015 study conducted by Profs. Maebh Harding and Annika Newnham. Her effort fails miserably on many counts as I described last time. It also fails when Sodha tries to convince readers that, even when DV is proven against fathers, they still get custody.
Harding and Newnham examined 174 divorce and custody cases in England and Wales. In a grand total of nine of them did a father who was found to have committed DV get custody. Is that shocking? Outrageous?
For one thing, the study’s definition of domestic abuse is, to use its word, “broad.” It includes physical violence, but also “allegations of any controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour including physical violence, sexual violence, and emotional abuse.” So “domestic abuse” can mean almost anything. Did Dad try, on more than one occasion to get Mom to spend less? To refrain from spending so much time with the heroin addicts down the street? If so, he’s abusive.
March 16, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
When I first opened this article, at the bottom of the page there appeared a highlighted box with the title “When Disinformation is Rampant…” (Guardian, 3/5/20). To me it read like the punchline to a good joke; I literally laughed out loud. Of course the box is The Guardian’s way of trying to drum up donations for its rapidly declining brand, but, given the article that preceded it, it was hilarious. That article, by Guardian editor Sonia Sodha, is as good an example of disinformation as you’re likely to find. Sadly, the box – and the punchline - now seem to be gone.
The title says it all – “The idea that family courts are biased against men is a dangerous fallacy.” After that, those of us who toil in the family court reform vineyard know what’s coming, and Sodha doesn’t disappoint. First she denies that family court outcomes disproportionately treat fathers worse than mothers. More on that later. Next she claims (of course she does) that, when mothers allege domestic violence by fathers, the fathers are given custody. And finally we’re informed that parental alienation syndrome is “junk science.”
In short, Sodha repeats the usual talking points the anti-dad crowd have been relying on for years. Nothing new here.
March 11, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
As two equal parenting bills make their way through the Florida Legislature, this article came out against reform of child custody and parenting time (Sun-Sentinel, 2/28/20). And guess what. It’s written by a family lawyer. Of course it is. Mark Sessums is the President-elect of the Florida chapter of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. That means he gains pretty close to all his income from family law cases, which in turn means he profits from clients who fight.
Unsurprisingly, Sessums has nothing new to say about child custody or parenting time. All his arguments are retreads and not a one of them withstands even casual scrutiny.
First, he trots out the tired old claim that existing law is all about the best interests of children, but HB 843 puts parents first.
What utter nonsense. Let’s take the first part of his argument first. It’s true that Florida law, like that of every other state, requires judges to act in the best interests of children when deciding custody and parenting time. The problem is that they don’t do it very often. Why?
March 9, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
The Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that a father’s consent to the adoption of his child is not necessary if he has missed as much as a single child support payment, or even a partial one. In so doing, the majority of the court ignored the plain wording of the applicable statute, a fact noted by two dissenting justices.
The child’s father and mother divorced in 2013. She received sole custody and he was ordered to pay support for the child who’s identified only as A.C.B. In 2015, the mother married another man who wanted to adopt A.C.B. The stepfather filed a petition to do so, alleging that A.C.B.’s father’s consent to the adoption wasn’t necessary. The salient portion of the applicable Ohio statute requires the father’s consent unless a court
finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has failed without justifiable cause to provide more than de minimis contact with the minor or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately preceding either the filing of the adoption petition or the placement of the minor in the home of the petitioner.
Apparently, the “de minimus contact” part of the law wasn’t at issue. So the only question was whether the father had provided support for the child within the year preceding the filing of the petition for adoption. And that question was answered in the affirmative. In fact, the father had made a child support payment within the week prior to the petition’s filing.
March 6, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote an 8,100-word essay in The Atlantic (The Atlantic, 3/2020). In response, the Institute for Family Studies sponsored a symposium to discuss Brooks’ work (IF Studies, 2/10/20). There were eight respondents, including Brad Wilcox, Kay Hymowitz, Andrew Cherlin and others. All put together, their responses totaled more words than Brooks’ original piece. Then Brooks took about 1,000 words to respond to the symposium’s responses to his article (IF Studies, 2/24/20).
With that small blizzard of words, you might think the august writers would have covered the waterfront. You might think that they’d have pretty well exhausted Brooks’ thesis that “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake.” But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Completely wrong.
That’s because not a single one of those nine, highly intelligent, highly knowledgeable people noticed the proverbial elephant in the room. Oh, they know plenty about the sociology of the nuclear family and something about its history and their writings are well worth reading. Plus, some of the symposium members agree with Brooks and some, like Hymowitz and Wilcox, pointedly do not. So, taken all together, the original article, plus the symposium, plus Brooks’ response produced a healthily wide range of thought and opinion.
March 5, 2020 by Lori Grover, NCM, Chair of Rhode Island NPO and Divorce Mediator
For kids, having a high-conflict parent redefines their childhoods and changes their adult lives forever. But even when a non-high-conflict parent understands personality disorders and high-conflict behavior, it doesn’t change who their child’s other parent is, and they and their children are the ones who will need to learn how to manage life with a HCP.
Divorce may seem like the obvious solution to eradicating the chaos and drama of a high-conflict spouse, but when there are children, it not that easy. I often talk with people who live with on-going abuse from a former spouse for years after their divorce is final and struggle to protect their children from circumstances beyond their control.
In many cases HCPs use children as tools to control and manipulate their ex. From false allegations of abuse and claims that the other parent incapable of caring for their child, to refusing or limiting the other parent’s time with their child - there’s no limit to how far a HCP will go to intimidate their spouse to get what they want. These parents may wear the mask of a loving and protective parent in public, but the true motive is to use the child for their own needs. These parents don’t want the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting, they want the attention that comes from buying the most expensive birthday gift and an audience to hear their remarkable stories of accomplishments, whether real or perceived. As I explain later in this article, narcissists don’t see their child as an independent person; their child is an extension of themselves. While this concept may be hard to understand, it explains why high-conflict parents say and do things to their children most of us wouldn’t and why trying to get them to modify their behavior is futile.
March 4, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
The final section of David Brooks’ piece in The Atlantic is painful to read (The Atlantic, 3/2020). Almost every sentence made me want to scream and tear my hair. For example, he recites that, during the earliest days of our country, when Europeans landed in what’s now New England, some of them went to live with Native American tribes, but essentially none of the indigenous peoples lived with the Europeans. Brooks’ conclusion?
When you read such accounts, you can’t help but wonder whether our civilization has somehow made a gigantic mistake.
Well, Brooks may wonder that, but the rest of us who value things like Mozart and living beyond the age of 35 don’t wonder at all. Does Brooks have any idea of how people in hunter-gatherer societies lived? He should look it up sometime. If he does, he’ll no longer engage in such nonsensical musings.
March 3, 2020 by Lori Grover, NCM, Chair of Rhode Island NPO and Divorce Mediator
Read Part I here.
Entitlement. A hallmark characteristic of high-conflict personalities (HCPs) is the belief that they’re entitled to more of everything than anyone else. The assertive or even aggressive nature of these personalities is a mask they wear to hide the deep insecurity and lack of self-esteem that exists at the deepest levels of themselves. Most people in relationships with people with these personalities never understand this deep void in their spouse, parent, sibling or coworker. Instead, their experience is one of confusion, fear, abuse and in many cases, an unknowing enabler. The impenetrable psychological walls they build and their persona of grandeur are mechanisms HCPs use to control and manipulate their environment whether it’s their spouse, child or others. Chaos in the lives of these personalities is as essential to them as having air to breathe.
When there’s smoke, there’s fire. According to the largest study ever conducted by US National Institutes of Health on personality disorders, about 10 percent of the population have either Narcissistic or Bipolar Disorder or both. Among those who met the criteria for BPD, 53 percent were women and 47 percent were men. Among those who met the criteria for NPD, 62 percent were men and 38 percent were women. Among people who met the criteria for one of these disorders, nearly 40 percent met the criteria for both. Such people may appear charming, quite social and very down to earth with a great personality. This is the same mask most high conflict personalities wear in public, but people close to them live with someone quite different. If you blame yourself for not seeing the signs sooner, don’t. These disorders are difficult to diagnose and their behaviors often aren’t apparent until months after a relationship begins.
March 2, 2020 by Robert Franklin,JD, Member, National Board of Directors
This article by New York Times columnist David Brooks is well worth reading (The Atlantic, March, 2020). It provides a huge amount of information and a point of view that demands attention. At the same time, Brooks misses a lot.
His thesis is the family or, more precisely, its decline. Brooks sketches (very lightly) the history of the family and finds that the typical living arrangement for most people during most times has been that of the extended family. That of course is generally true. For countless reasons, extended families – mothers, fathers, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins – lived together. That provided a certain security for all involved. If one person got sick, there was someone with the time to care for him. If one person became disabled and couldn’t work, others took up the slack.
Plus, as the social capital theory of child well-being has it, all those relatives made different perspectives on the world, different skills (Uncle John makes really good shoes!) and different resources available to kids and in fact to everyone.
March 3, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Last time I began discussing this article by NYT columnist David Brooks (The Atlantic, 3/2020). It’s title – “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake” - indicates both Brooks’ thesis and where it jumped the tracks.
As I said before, Brooks extols the extended family as having been the bedrock of human society for almost all of our history. That’s true enough, but where he goes wrong is failing to acknowledge that the extended family only existed because of the nuclear one. All those many aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. came together solely because of their relationships with Dad, Mom and their children.
That’s more than an incidental error on his part, because it leads to Brooks’ subsection entitled “The Short, Happy Life of the Nuclear Family,” in which we find,
For a time, it all seemed to work. From 1950 to 1965, divorce rates dropped, fertility rates rose, and the American nuclear family seemed to be in wonderful shape. And most people seemed prosperous and happy…
During this period, a certain family ideal became engraved in our minds: a married couple with 2.5 kids. When we think of the American family, many of us still revert to this ideal. When we have debates about how to strengthen the family, we are thinking of the two-parent nuclear family, with one or two kids, probably living in some detached family home on some suburban street. We take it as the norm, even though this wasn’t the way most humans lived during the tens of thousands of years before 1950, and it isn’t the way most humans have lived during the 55 years since 1965.
By Clayton Craddock, Chair, National Parents Organization of New York
Why must kids miss out on certain family relationships when parents separate? It’s cruel for children, who love both parents, to suddenly lose access to everything they once knew when their parents no longer want to live together. Does a child’s love and need for both parents suddenly end when parents decide to separate? A couple may no longer want to be together, but a child wants to remain close to their parents. Most children are willing to do what is necessary to be in a relationship with their caregivers as long as it means that they continue to see them as much as possible after separation.
Barring exceptional circumstances, a child’s right to both loving, fit parents should not be allowed to be used as leverage against the other while personal differences are ironed out in a settlement or in family court.
Our culture is due for a drastic paradigm shift. It’s time to stop seeing one parent as the default and the other as just a visitor. These assumptions are often sexist and outdated. If the parents can no longer live together, the next best thing is for the child to have equal time with each parent.
Our current domestic relations law here in New York State makes no effort to require, or even encourage, that healthy, fit, loving parents spend equal time with their child after a separation. Family courts usually pick one parent to “win custody.” However, in the long run, the children are the biggest losers. When one side of their family suddenly is cut off, children have a strained relationship with not only the non-custodial parent, but the extended family as well. For example, they may rarely see their aunts, uncles, cousins and/or grandparents who they used to see frequently. Extended family relationships are often a vital support system.
February 27, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Last time I wrote about the scandalous case of Megan and Andy Carter and their five-year-old daughter Ellie (NBC News, 2/14/20). Ellie had multiple health problems due to her having been born very prematurely. Her many visits to doctors and hospitals and her difficulty combatting an infection drew the attention of Mary Bridge Hospital’s child abuse pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Woods who seems to have believed that Megan was overtreating the child and withholding care to keep her sick.
Woods’ intervention into Ellie’s parental care resulted in the child being taken from her mother for over a year, Megan’s being charged with child abuse and the Carters shelling out some $300,000 to defend against allegations that were not only unfounded, but contested by other experts. To accomplish all that, Woods made numerous statements under oath that were either untrue or stretched the truth beyond recognition. The judge in Megan’s trial laid into Woods:
Most of Woods’ testimony, the judge wrote, was “without supporting factual basis.” Amini dismissed parts of Woods’ conclusions as “not plausible” and “speculation at best.”
But Woods wasn’t finished. Six months after all charges had been dropped and the family reunited, the Carters got a visit from Child Protective Services. They had a report that Megan was giving Ellie unnecessary oxygen treatments. Who made the report? CPS officials didn’t say, but the only person fitting the description of one of the reporters was Elizabeth Woods.
NPO’s Executive Director, Ginger Gentile, has received an offer to direct a new documentary, not yet titled, that focuses on the promotion of better parenting practices and how society can help children. Because filmmaking is Ginger’s passion and because of her ongoing commitment to promote the well-being of children, Ginger has decided to accept this offer. Unfortunately for NPO, this means that Ginger will be leaving her post as Executive Director of NPO as of February 27, 2020.
During her tenure with NPO, Ginger worked effectively to promote NPO’s mission. She launched the 2019 NPO Shared Parenting Report Card with a press conference in New York’s Lincoln Center which garnered press coverage in the New York Post, Fox News, US News & World Report, and Yahoo. She also opened new NPO affiliates in seven states and brought new leadership to two other NPO affiliates. Ginger also helped us build alliances with a number of state-based shared parenting organizations to facilitate collaborative efforts to promote shared parenting.
We are sorry to see Ginger leave as our Executive Director but we wish her every success in her new endeavors. We know that Ginger remains strongly committed to the mission of NPO and she will continue to serve the organization in an advisory capacity.
Don Hubin, Chair
National Parents Organization
Working with the affiliates of NPO, who are volunteering long hours on raising awareness of the importance of shared parenting has been inspiring. They are turning personal pain into the energy needed to create a better future for their children, and all of our children. I enjoyed working with Chair Don Hubin and the other board members who are strongly committed to creating systemic change.
I am confident that NPO is poised, along with other family court reform organizations, to make divorce and separation healthier for families. Right now there are a handful of states poised to join Kentucky in making Shared Parenting the legal norm. While I am sad to leave NPO, I am happy that I will be able to continue in an advisory role on issues related to messaging and strategy. All of the erased parents who watch my documentary ERASING FAMILY will be encouraged to join NPO to work on legislative advocacy, judicial education and distribute the great research produced by NPO.
Remember, almost everyone supports shared parenting (literally! 93% in the last NPO poll conducted in Virginia) and research says this is best for kids. So by applying effective messaging we will quickly solve this public health crisis of kids not having both loving parents in their lives.
February 26, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Here’s more on child abuse pediatricians (NBC News, 2/14/20).
This time, the story comes to us from Washington State and Mary Bridge hospital. That’s where Megan Carter, her husband Andy and their four-year-old daughter Ellie were put through a legal, medical and emotional wringer over a period of over a year. Megan was charged with medical child abuse of Ellie and eventually exonerated, but not after having been forcibly separated from both her children for a year and spending over $300,000 to fight the case.
Ellie was born at 24 weeks of gestation, i.e. extremely premature. Unsurprisingly, that meant that, from day one of her life, she’s had medical issues. She’s spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices and hospitals. She’s had a feeding tube inserted into her stomach and ventilation therapy to help her breathe.
When she was four, she contracted an infection that her immune system had serious difficulty combatting. Megan took her to her pediatrician multiple times and eventually to Mary Bridge hospital. That’s where she ran afoul of Dr. Elizabeth Woods, a child abuse physician who decided that Megan was engaging in medical child abuse. In this case that meant overtreating the child, much like Munchhausen’s Syndrome by proxy.
February 25, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Joan Meier, are you paying attention? Are your fellow travelers in the movement to asperse the concept of parental alienation?
Here’s yet another authoritative article by a psychiatrist, Dr. Christine Adams, who’s been a clinician for 40 years and a forensic scientist for 20 (Psychology Today, 2/18/20). She’s worked and written extensively about parental alienation. She knows whereof she speaks.
Parental alienation begins long before divorce occurs…
With the birth of a child, each parent forms a bond, or attachment, to the baby. For the alienating parent this bond is based on the parent having his or her needs met by the child. Mostly these are emotional needs. The relationship reverses from one that meets the needs of the child to one that meets the parent’s needs.
In short, the seeds of alienation are planted long before divorce occurs or is even contemplated. They’re planted in the fertile soil that is the psyche of the future alienator who is emotionally needy. The child learns to meet those needs and, when the process of divorce begins, the pressure on the child ramps up.
February 24, 2020 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors
On March 24th, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case with the potential to severely erode the rights of biological parents (Lifesite News, 2/11/20).
The father, C.J.C. and the mother, D.A.W. had a daughter who remains unnamed in the legal documents. The two parents split up and agreed to an almost equal parenting time arrangement. D.A.W. began a relationship with her boyfriend, J.D. with whom she lived for about 11 months. So the child spent about 5 ½ months of that time with her mother and J.D. and the same amount of time with her father. There has never been either evidence or an allegation that C.J.C. is anything but an entirely fit and loving father. When the child was four, D.A.W. was killed in a car accident.
February 21, 2020 by Lynda Steele, Furnishing Fatherhood
The reaction to a simple act of kindness from a community of people who systematically do not see support is a humbling experience. Reaching out to a father to say “I do this because you matter,” even though I do not know him personally, is important to both of us. I fully understand that, to their children, they matter as much as anything in the world. That is why I provide furnishings for homes for non-custodial fathers.
The typical response I get from men and fathers when we meet up is “Wow, I didn’t think you were real.” With shock and watery eyes they approach me and follow up with “It just seems like no one cares about dads.” Most of these men, by the time we find each other, are emotionally exhausted and half expecting Furnishing Fatherhood and the support it offers to be a scam. When we finally connect and they are provided the items they need for their homes and children, emotions flow freely. They tell me how much they care about their children, as if they are used to having to explain themselves. I greet them all with a big smile a warm hug and continue to remind them that I do this because their fatherhood matters. I reassure them that I can see how much they love their children and in that moment they begin to feel like they can breathe again and that they aren’t alone. I could have never imagined that showing up to father's home with a car seat or box of clothes for their children could bring such a huge sigh of relief. It doesn’t take someone with a lot of money or resources to help, it only takes someone with compassion and willingness to put in the work.
February 20, 2020 by Lynda Steele, Furnishing Fatherhood
Laws help to protect our rights, liberties and freedoms, but they need to be improved to protect parental rights and children's rights. That said,…
What law could be created to ensure that a divorced parent will have to share the child’s possessions and needs between the two homes? What law could be created to make people treat each other amicably? What law would make sure a parent who is going through a divorce or separation doesn’t end up homeless?
No law can or will do those things. The answers to those questions lie in resources and support. We have to look beyond laws to allow people to do the right things and create solutions that empower people to live better lives and rebuild following divorce.
February 19, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Cox is the Milwaukee emergency room physician who made the mistake of taking his one-month-old adopted daughter to the Children’s Wisconsin hospital due to his concern that he might have inadvertently harmed her. Cox had fallen asleep with the baby beside him and, when he awoke, he had rolled partially onto her. The child exhibited no pain or distress, but to be on the safe side and after consulting his wife who’s also a doctor, he took her to the hospital.
There the child was the subject of a string of medical errors, some obvious, some less so. One physician’s assistant insisted that a birth mark was a bruise. A child abuse pediatrician decided that a bruise on the sole of the child’s foot was suspicious for abuse when in fact it had been caused by a pin prick done at the hospital for diagnostic purposes. In all, some 15 doctors who either examined the child at the time or who reviewed her treatment later have said that no abuse occurred. One called the proceedings against Cox “preposterous.”
February 19, 2020 by Linda Reutzel, National Parents Organization of Missouri
A clear, responsible and elegantly written maintenance policy reform has been filed by Senator Ed Emery in the Missouri Senate. His legislation, SB 961, updates an out-of-date law that was last substantially updated in the early 1970’s.
Senator Emery’s bill would set durational limits and allow for a rehabilitative plan to get training or degrees for employment, and allow maintenance to be awarded for a party to bridge to a secure lifestyle; however, a judge could over-rule the limits or terminate a plan when it was determined that it was not being implemented. When a judge does not follow the limits, the court would be required to put the reason why in writing.The need for this provision, and indeed, the overall bill, is simple:
Current law is ambiguous, lacks definition, and both payors and recipients cite instances where court-room decisions are arbitrary and unfair so that similarly situated parties are not treated equally under the law. Both genders face the potential for an unfair outcome. It is also simple common-sense that in today’s courtrooms judges are reluctant to provide for maintenance reform to bridge to an independent lifestyle,because once a maintenance order is granted, it is hard to end.
Without bright lines and more uniform outcomes, it is understandably difficult for both parties to enter into reasonable settlement agreements. Instead the current law enables repeated litigation with inconsistent results. This hurts children who suffer from watching their parents return to court. Inevitably, children are the collateral damage. Their parents struggle with the animosity and anger that results from repeatedly hitting the financial and emotional wound from ending a marriage. This prevents families from moving on with their lives, and causes deep rifts.
February 18, 2020 by Lori Grover, NCM, Chair of Rhode Island NPO and Divorce Mediator
The emotional reality of ending a marriage is never easy. Whether a divorce is a mutual decision or made by one spouse, coming to terms with the end of a marriage and processing the loss is different for everyone. There isn’t a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve but certain behaviors can signal the existence of a bigger issue. Anyone who has been divorced, or knows someone who has, understands the roller coaster of emotions that effect the ability to think and function. Most divorcing people manage to work through the emotional and logistical challenges their divorce presents and in time, begin to focus on rebuilding their lives. But there are others who function differently; they’re driven by retribution, control, and perpetual conflicts. These are divorces involving high conflict personalities (HCPs).
February 17, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Once more a man who’s not the father of a child has been forced to pay child support for it. That’s true despite the fact that all parties acknowledge that the man isn’t the child’s father and he apparently has no relationship with it. The case demonstrates the inanity and injustice of failing to require mothers to accurately identify the fathers of the children to which they give birth.
In April of 2017, Abriel Gonzalez gave birth to a child. She named Jonathan Ortiz as the father even though she knew he might not be. Ortiz too had questions about his paternity, but, at the hospital when the baby was born, Gonzalez threatened that, if he didn’t sign an affidavit acknowledging paternity, she wouldn’t allow him to see the child. So he did.
February 14, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
It’s that time of year again in Florida. Early Spring? No, it’s the time when the legislature is in session, there are two bills that would reform alimony and parenting time law and, of course opposition to both from family lawyers. Here’s one example from Amy Hamlin who’s president of the Family Law Section of the Florida State Bar (Florida Politics, 2/10/20). We’ve been down this road in Florida many times before and, predictably, the family lawyers there have no new arguments to make in their desperation to head-off sensible reform.
Well, to be entirely accurate, Hamlin does have one new argument that comes in the subtitle to her piece.
Hasty changes to alimony reform won’t yield better results for Florida families.
“Hasty?” Er, not exactly. In fact, alimony reform and shared parenting are possibly the best-known, best-understood and most extensively vetted of any issue before the legislature. That’s because they’ve been introduced as bills, heard by committees, argued to the full House and Senate and voted on for at least four years now. That’s not what I call “hasty.”
Weirdly, Hamlin admits as much.
For the last several Legislative Sessions, there has a push for sweeping changes to Florida’s alimony statute…
So, according to the article, the effort is hasty and at the same time it’s been around for several years. Make sense? As it turns out, it makes about as much sense as the rest of Hamlin’s piece.
February 13, 2020 by Lynda Steele
“Sorry my organization only furnishes homes for non-custodial fathers, but I can direct you to an organization that can help you”.
Have you ever heard of an organization for only non-custodial fathers? Think about that for a minute. On a daily basis one-half of parents are turned away from certain support and resources because they are marked in family court with the title of “Non-Custodial”. It’s as if, all of a sudden, they have been cast out by society, condemned to no support and diminished credibility in their children's lives.
Furnishing Fatherhood came about one day when a young father reached out to me and said, “Hey I heard you help fathers. I don’t know how to ask you this, but do you by chance have a car seat? My child's mother said she is not going to share the car seat anymore and, if I don’t have my own by my next visit, she will not let me have that weekend with my son.” Shocked, slightly irritated and now intrigued, I had a laundry list of questions. If he was missing a car seat and she wouldn't share “hers” what else was this dad missing?
As it turned out, this dad had absolutely nothing. Since his relationship ended, he had for a year been “couch hopping”, paying his child support and saving money for his own place. When they split up all he was “allowed” to have was a back pack of his clothes. After hearing his story, I knew he needed more than just a car seat. I went to Facebook Marketplace and created a post asking for clothing for his son, living room furniture, a bed for him and his son, kitchen appliances and dishes - anything I could think of for a home.