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National Parents Organization is working to bring awareness to the issues with family court and the need for reform and for shared parenting across the country. When people learn about our issues they overwhelmingly support shared parenting; this support leads to changes in laws and practices. Here are some of the national outlets where National Parents Organization has been featured:

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SE Missourian

April 25, 2020 by Linda Reutzel, Chair, National Parents Organization of Missouri

Given the coronavirus upending our way of life, Americans are depending on elected and appointed officials to safeguard our health and economy. However, we as citizens also have the responsibility to stand up for our American way of life. This means we have to be even more vigilant about protecting our freedoms and the rule of law.

When it comes to the social justice issue of shared parenting, our momentum in Missouri before the crisis was right on target to pass this session. There is still no reason that passage shouldn't still occur.

Thanks to the efforts of two of Cape Girardeau's finest, state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, and state Rep. Kathy Swan, the momentum for their shared parenting bills is still there.

Of course, the priority should be to safeguard all Missourians health and financial well-being. While we want to be sure that our legislators are safe, social distancing is not an excuse to end the debate on such important legislation.

When the Missouri session resumes, a way to continue the regular order of business must be found.

What ultimately matters: Children need and want equal access to both parents and both extended families.

Read the rest at the Southeast Missourian

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Nashville Christian Family

April 3, 2020 by Tammy Daughtry, MMFT

In working with divided families it is often common for one parent to have 80% of the parenting time and the shared children only see the other parent 20% of time. Researchers have looked at these dynamics for years and have varied outcomes; however, most research shows children will thrive most with a 50/50 shared parenting schedule. Having been a divorced mom for almost two decades, I lived through that “timeshare” with my daughter who was just one when we divided. I am happy to report that although I missed her when she was away, she had a great childhood with equal time between her home with me and her home with her dad. At the age of 20 she reports that she does not feel like a child from a “broken family” or even a “divorced family.” She reports that she has four adults who love her and six step siblings in her ever-growing extended family.

KY is the first state in the country to create a legal presumption for joint custody in divorce proceedings. In April 2019 it was prioritized and finalized. It was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin on April 26, 2019 and took effect on July 14, 2019. They have also deemed April 26th as “Shared Parenting Day in Kentucky” to commemorate the importance of equal parenting on an annual basis.

Read the rest at Nashville Christian Family

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Telegraph forum

March 20, 2020 by Don Hubin, Ph.D., Chair, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Are Crawford County parents less important to their children’s well-being than those in counties like Ashtabula, Carroll, Clermont, Holmes and Tuscarawas? That seems to be the message Judge Sean Leuthold is sending to divorcing parents in Crawford County.

Imagine two children, Amy and Brittany. Both live in Ohio: Amy in Bucyrus and Brittany in New Philadelphia. Unfortunately, both girls’ parents are divorcing. This will be a rough time for the girls but, fortunately, all four of the parents are good, loving parents — divorcing each other, not their daughters — and each wants to remain fully engaged in their daughter’s lives.

Because Brittany lives in Tuscarawas County, when her parents go to court to settle how they will continue to raise the child they both love, they will be presented with a local rule of the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas that treats them both equally and presumes that they will continue to be equally involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of raising Brittany.

Read the rest at the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

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the altamont enterprise

February 28, 2020 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.

Child custody cases in New York State today, can last for weeks, months or years. During this time, the child, under current custom, is oftentimes denied the best of both parents while a judgement is determined. By setting a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting for temporary orders, with room for exceptions if one parent is demonstrably unfit, it will shift the starting point to what’s best for children. It will also free a judges’ time to review and consider more challenging matters.

Read the rest at the Altamont Enterprise

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Lars brings on Jim Clark, with the National Parents Organization to discuss how parenting agreements after divorce should be handled. Clark explains to Lars about how a 50/50 shared custody agreement with the children can reduce the number of issues the kids may face in the future given that the agreement isn’t followed properly. Listen to the whole show on the Lars Larson Show website

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February 9, 2020 by Will Mitchell/ Special to Gannett Kansas

Last week Kansas joined a growing list of states supporting shared parenting when the Senate passed SB 157 by an overwhelming margin of 39 to 1.

Statewide polling last year showed Kansans supported the pending change by an amazing factor of 40 to 1. These results were verified last week at the Capitol with widespread support among men and women, Republicans and Democrats and across every age and racial group. SB 157 would create a presumption favoring shared parenting time for temporary child custody orders if both parents are considered capable.

This bill now passes to the House of Representatives with tremendous momentum, joining a rapidly growing national trend.

Senator Vic Miller, a former municipal court judge, said he supports equal rights for moms and dads, adding, “In those cases where they are hotly contested, one party wins a lot just by being the first one to the courthouse.” He went on to say he was voting for the bill.

Sen. Eric Rucker, an attorney, also voted for the bill. “Proponents expressed to us a tendency that once judges of this state issue temporary orders along these lines they did not have an equal chance to modify or change the order once it ultimately became permanent.”

Assuming the bill’s likely passage in the House, Kansas is expected to join neighboring Missouri, also poised to pass shared parenting soon.

Read the rest at the Topeka Capital Journal

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MIAMI, Jan. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- National Parents Organization (NPO) is honored to be a sponsor of From Fatherless to Fatherhood hosted by The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. & Dr. Torri J. in partnership with All Pro Dad. This live event will be Saturday, Feb. 1, in Miami at the Super Bowl LIV Miami Experience.

NPO executive director Ginger Gentile will be on a panel with All-Pro NFL wide receiver Julio Jones, former NFL star Roddy White, advocate Mark Merrill and Dr. Torri J discussing the impact of children growing up in fatherless homes, and solutions. Topics include:

-Struggling with how to be a father because you did not have one?
-Challenged by how to maintain proper relationships because you did not see one demonstrated in your household growing up? 
-
Covering up childhood wounds with success?
-Struggling on how to raise your children in the absence of their father?

NPO is proud to support an event aimed at preventing fatherlessness for children. The organization currently works to effect legislative reform promoting shared parenting outcomes and maintaining healthy relationships for children with both parents whenever possible.

Read the rest on Yahoo Finance.

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HeraldNet

January 19, 2020 By Jim Clark / For The Herald

Nationwide, the $50 billion dollar divorce industry is 25 times larger than the wedding industry with the average divorce costing $20,000 dollars. It is far less expensive to marry than to divorce.

According to the Washington state Department of Health, there are approximately 25,000 divorces each year statewide with approximately half of those divorces affecting 22,000 children. The most contentious and expensive divorces center on issues regarding child custody and child support, stemming from the sacred parent-child bond and multitude of constitutional rights implicated.

Current research by Linda Nielsen, a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University, indicates that children who live with each parent at least 35 percent of the time in a shared-parenting joint custody plan had better outcomes than children in sole physical custody families. Children raised substantially by both parents have better academic achievement, emotional health and relationships with family while having less behavioral problems and fewer physical health and stress-related illnesses.

Read the rest at The Herald

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December 9, 2019 by Katie Augustine -WNCT

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The National Parents Organization (NPO) recently released its report card for the nation on how each state is performing with shared parenting after divorce.

The NPO held a conference in New York City to reveal the results of the report card.

North Carolina received a ‘D-‘ rating on the report card meaning the state, according to local divorce attorney Ashley-Nicole Russell, is not doing a lot to support shared parenting.

Russell was brought in as an expert to speak at the NPO conference at the Lincoln Center in New York City in September.

She practices collaborative law in Eastern North Carolina.

This method is an alternative to the traditional litigation model and gives families a chance to be communicative and transition out of marriage in a more civil way.

It allows parents and couples to settle outside of court.

To put the ‘D-‘ into perspective, Russell explains that Kentucky is one of the only states with an ‘A’ because of new legislation in the state that sets the default custody arrangement at 50/50.

Read the rest at WNCT

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November 21, 2019 by Mark Bliss ~ Southeast Missourian

Area lawmakers will introduce bills for the 2020 state legislative session addressing everything from shared parenting to texting while driving.

Lawmakers can pre-file bills beginning next month.

State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, said his top priority is to pass a shared-parenting bill. It would create a “rebuttal presumption” for parents in child-custody cases to receive equal time with their children, he said.

He introduced similar legislation last session, but it failed to pass.

“This is going to be a big push for me,” he said. “Most fatherlessness is created by outdated court systems, not abandonment, so I want to get that corrected.”

State Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau, plans to offer a similar bill in the House. The goal, she said, is to force judges to start with the premise parents should be granted equal time with their children unless there is evidence showing such a move is not warranted.

Read the full article at the Southeast Missourian

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November 9, 2019 By Mark Bliss ~ Southeast Missourian

State Rep. Kathy Swan and state Sen. Wayne Wallingford are pushing legislation for shared parenting in custody cases.

The two Republican, Cape Girardeau lawmakers met recently with shared-parenting advocates in Cape Girardeau.

A documentary, “Erasing Family,” was shown Oct. 29 at The Concourse event center. The film explores the trauma experienced by children “when a loving, fit parent is erased from their lives due to separation and divorce,” said Linda Reutzel, who chairs the Missouri chapter of the National Parents Organization.

“Parents going through divorce should not fear losing significant parenting time with their children and, even more importantly, children should not feel abandoned by one of their parents,” she said in a news release.

Read more at The Southeast Missourian

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Fox News published a story about National Parents Organization's 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card. They noted that the states did slightly better than in 2014, with the average grade going from a D+ to a C-. 

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US News and World Report published a story on NPO's Shared Parenting Report Card. They noted that "the number of states that are considered a 'shared parenting state' (meaning they earned a C grade or better) increased from 26 in 2014 to 34 in 2019, but 17 states still remain in the D or F range."

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Originally published August 30, 2019 in the Courier Journal 

National Parents Organization's own Matt Hale has an op-ed in the Courier Journal in Kentucky, who used court statistics to debunk many myths about shared parenting. Some key takeaways:

"Kentucky’s family court caseload and domestic violence cases had been rising, which is expected because our state’s population is increasing. But, in early July 2017, that trend abruptly stopped and family court cases and domestic violence filings began declining..."

"The year before Kentucky had any shared parenting laws, beginning July 14, 2016, and lasting 365 days, there were 22,512 family court cases filed. They declined to 21,847 the year the partial shared parenting law began. When the complete shared parenting law took effect in the last 12 months, new cases plummeted to 19,991. In other words, Kentucky’s families filed to sue each other in family court more than 11% less despite the state’s population growth..."

"Domestic violence claims declined by 248 in 2017 when the partial shared parenting law was enacted. Further, the decline of domestic violence accelerated by dropping an additional 445 cases as the complete shared parenting law took effect in 2018 versus the prior year... "

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Originally published August 18, 2019 in the Times Reporter out of Tuscawaras County, Ohio

By Don Hubin, Ph.D.

Viruses, whether of the biological or computer variety, are bad. But “going viral” can be very good, especially when what is going viral is good for children. And, it looks as if the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas is “patient 0″ for a virtuous virus that is, fortunately, spreading to some of its neighboring counties.

Last year, National Parents Organization (NPO) conducted a study of the standard parenting time guidelines that each Ohio domestic relations court is required to establish. We wanted to see which courts were promoting equal shared parenting—a model of separated parenting that decades of scientific research show is usually best for children whose parents are living apart.

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Member of our Board of Directors and Chair of our Ohio chapter Don Hubin details the changes Clermont County made to their parenting time guidelines that warranted changing their grade from a C+ to an A in NPO's Ohio Parenting Time Report. As Don writes, For decades, we have known that the thing that troubles children most about parental separation is the damage to their relationship with one of their parents." and now Clermont County recognizes this as well. Read the entire op-ed here.

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Linda Reutzel writes in the Southeast Missourian of her experiences with family court and how even though Missouri did not pass its shared parenting bill this year, there haves still been successes in the state. Read the full column here

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The Pioneer News has an excellent article on the Chair of our Kentucky affiliate, Matt Hancock. They also spoke to Matt Hale, former Chair and current member of the National Board of Directors on the decision to appoint Hancock the new Chair and the progress NPO has made in Kentucky. Read the full article here. 

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Matt Hale and Linda Reutzel wrote about the tale of two girls, one in Missouri (where there is no shared parenting law) and one in Kentucky (where the first shared parenting law in the nation was passed) for Divorce Magazine. The stark differences between the experiences of the these two girls shows just why we need shared parenting around the country. Read the full story here. 

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Matt Hancock, Chair of the Kentucky chapter of National Parents Organization, wrote an op-ed for the Courier-Journal of Louisville on the importance of Shared Parenting Day for children. April 26 was declared Shared Parenting Day by Governor Bevin to mark the one year anniversary of Kentucky's first in the nation shared parenting law, which has been overwhelmingly popular. The op-ed also mention's NPO's own Matt Hale, who was the driving force for a day to acknowledge the law. Read the entire article here.

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The Oldham Era out of Kentucky has an article featuring NPO's own Matt Hale, a driving force behind Kentucky's first in the nation shared parenting law. The article discusses Governor Matt Bevin's decision to name April 26 "Shared Parenting Day" in Kentucky to commemorate Kentucky's shared parenting law. The article also features Alexandra Beckman of NPO of Kentucky. Read the full article here. 

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This article originally ran in the Kentucky Era

In the wake of last year’s legislative approval of a law on shared parenting, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has proclaimed today Shared Parenting Day.

The proclamation reflects the need for parents to share equally in parenting their children during times of divorce or separation and Kentucky’s role in highlighting the issue.

According to the proclamation, Kentucky became the first true shared parenting state in the nation with the signing of House Bill 528 on April 26, 2018.

That bill was sponsored by Rep. Jason Petrie, who represents House District 16 including Todd, Logan and Warren counties.

He also sponsored a related bill in 2017.

Petrie said the proclamation brings attention to Kentucky’s leadership role in the matter.

“We’re leading the country on this issue,” he said.

The proclamation defines shared parenting as an arrangement where parents who are separated or divorced are given equal decision-making abilities and equal parenting time.

U.S. statistics note that children raised by single parents account for more than half of teen suicides as well as juveniles in state-operated institutions, high school dropouts, children in chemical abuse centers, those in prison, children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and homeless and runaway children, the proclamation said.   

SP Day Proclamation 1

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Thanks to the efforts of NPO's own Matt Hale, member of our Board of Directors and key player in the passage of Kentucky's first in the nation shared parenting day, Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky has declared April 26 "Shared Parenting Day." Read the whole article here.

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