April 19, 2017. Minot Daily News, North Dakota, "Shared Parenting Advocates Await Legislature’s Next Move," Quotes Matt Hale, National Parents Organization of Kentucky
Matt Hale, chairman of the Kentucky affiliate of the National Parents Organization, said shared parenting is not a single, clearly defined concept. States that have adopted legislation have differed in how they apply shared parenting. Recent states to pass legislation include Missouri, which doesn’t require 50/50 sharing but encourages involvement by both parents, and Kentucky, where the governor recently signed a bill establishing a presumption of shared parenting and 50/50 custody in temporary custody cases where there is little likelihood of abuse and neglect.
April 13, 2017. The Daily Caller, "We Need More Balance in the Media's Depiction of Men," By Christian Paasch, National Parents Organization of Virginia
The fact that she was comfortable making these statements on national television says a lot by itself. Moreover, these comments are ultimately not helpful to the many men and women who are working very hard to achieve gender equality. To be clear, women have faced (and continue to face) their share of sexist comments. Those comments are as equally inaccurate and unhelpful as Ms. Parker’s comments about men during the Women’s March. This op-ed focuses on how Ms. Parker’s comments are indicative of a larger, systemic issue in our society, and that we must overcome that kind of divisive rhetoric for all our sakes.
April 13, 2017. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missiouri, "Shared Parenting Bill will Benefit Missouri Children," By Linda Reutzel, National Parents Organization of Missouri
Thankfully, Missouri legislators are currently considering legislation that embraces parental equality and encourages our state’s judges to award shared parenting, a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent.
April 13, 2017. Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, "New Child-Custody Law Lets Ky. Children Win with Shared Parenting," By Matt Hale, National Parents Organization of Kentucky
The new law, House Bill 492, answers many Kentucky children’s prayers. The Easter bunny is bringing children a better chance to see both parents after a divorce.
Children in married families enjoy both their parents. Before the new law, children in divorced families enjoyed whichever parent the court picked (primary custody). These children may be allowed a short visit with the other parent.
However, the new law encourages a better arrangement called shared parenting. In shared parenting, children get to see both parents equally. Instead of a single parent winning, the children do.
See more here
April 12, 2017. Marketwired, "Kentucky Governor Signs Shared Parenting Law," National Parents Organization Press Release
The bill, House Bill 492, received unanimous support in both the House (voted 97-0) and Senate (38-0), signaling a long overdue change in our family court's approach to awarding custody in instances of divorce. The new law is also supported by an overwhelming amount of research showing it is in a child's best interest to have as close to equal time with both parents in instances of divorce, particularly early on in the process.
"Children are now more likely to see both parents regularly after a divorce, which is a huge win for the children of Kentucky considering research consistently shows shared parenting is in the best interest of children when their parents divorce," said Matt Hale, Chair of National Parents Organization of Kentucky. "Plus, parents are no longer in the high-conflict winner win all and loser lose all situation."
April 3, 2017. Fast Company, "Are Custody Laws Standing in the Way of Gender Equity?" Quotes Ned Holstein, National Parents Organization
The pay gap is most pronounced among married women with children (it’s often referred to as “the motherhood penalty”). The total failure of federal and corporate policies to support working mothers means that the outmoded idea that a successful career and family life are mutually exclusive still often manifests itself in a woman’s salary. Introducing comprehensive paid-leave policies is a critical step forward, but to Ned Holstein, a physician and the founder of the National Parents Organization (NPO), it doesn’t fully account for everyone affected by unequal pay policies—specifically, mothers who are separated or divorced from their partners.
March 24, 2017. Orlando Sentinel, Florida, "Finally, an Alimony Bill Scott Would Sign," By Alan Frisher, National Parents Organization of Florida
The laws cause immense hardship for those who must support an ex-spouse until he dies or she dies, even for marriages of fewer than 10 years and even to healthy women who begin collecting at 33 years old.
Current alimony law in Florida is emotionally and financially harmful to many families. As an example, many couples who wish to tie the knot are forgoing marriage because, under current Florida law, income from the “new” spouse can go toward alimony payments of the ex-spouse.
The current alimony laws are unfair, not just to the payers but to their children, their new spouses — and even the recipients, who are told never move on with their lives, and who remain on lifetime welfare. The public thinks it’s unfair — and so do most of Florida’s legislators. Twice now, once in 2013, and again in 2016, Florida legislators have voted to update the laws with new limits and plenty of room for judges to make decisions in unusual cases. Unfortunately, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the bill both times.
March 26, 2017. Augusta Press, Augusta, Virginia, "Gender Equality: Work Still Left to do in Family Courts," By Chris Nelson, National Parents Organization of Virginia
March 20, 2017. Augusta Press, Virginia, "Support Single Parents in Virginia," by Cole Bockenfeld, National Parents Organization of Virginia
Today, evidence showing shared parenting – a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent – is in the best interest of children is overwhelming. Child development experts published by the American Psychological Association were clear in their 2014 consensus report: “Shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages.”
To honor the intent of National Single Parents Day, government officials who value families must do more to support and protect relationships with both parents.
March 16, 2017. The Kansas City Star, Missouri; Press Release: "National Parents Organization Urges Missouri Lawmakers to Move Shared Parenting Forward," Features National Parents Organization
March 17, 2017. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas; Press Release: "National Parents Organization Urges Texas Lawmakers to Move Shared Parenting Forward," Features National Parents Organization
March 5, 2017. Florida Politics, "Alimony Rears Its Head," Quotes Alan Frisher, National Parents Organization of Florida
March 5, 2017. Saint Peters Blog, Florida, "2017 Legislative Session preview: Alimony rears its head," Quotes Alan Frisher, National Parents Organization of Florida
February 19, 2017. The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia, "More Balanced Child Custody Proposed," Features National Parents Organization
February 17, 2017. Houston Style Magazine, Houston, Texas, "Rep. White Wants Texas Fathers’ Role Valued in Texas Law," Features National Parents Organization
February 16, 2017. Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, Florida, "Frisher: New Alimony Bill Long Overdue," By Alan Frisher, National Parents Organization of Florida
Current law causes immense hardship for those who must support an ex-spouse until he dies or she dies, even for marriages of less than 10 years, even to healthy spouses who begin collecting at 33 years old. Hard to believe, but true.
February 11, 2017. Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton, Texas, "Dad Joins Push for Custody Reform," Features National Parents Organization
February 11, 2017. The Intelligencer, Wheeling, West Virginia, "Support Bill on Shared Parenting in W. Va.," Features National Parents Organization
While this progress is encouraging, unfortunately there is much ground to make up. Recently the National Parents Organization’s Shared Parenting Report Card revealed that, nationwide, the custody laws in the U.S. do a poor job or promoting shared parenting. These developments coincide with the publication of a study in Sweden that shows the benefits of shared parenting. Last month, researchers found that children that spend time living with both separated parents are less stressed than those that live with just one.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, researchers examined national data from nearly 150,000 12- and 15-year-old students in either 6th or 9th grade and studied their psychosomatic health problems, including sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, headaches and stomachaches, feeling tense, sad or dizzy. They found that kids living with both parents reported significantly fewer problems than children in sole-custody arrangements.
February 7, 2017. "Family Matters" Radio Show/VoiceAmerica, "High Conflict Co-Parenting and Family Law Reform," Interviews Dan Deuel, National Parents Organization
February 5, 2017. Virginian Pilot, Norfolk, Virginia, "There's a Solution to Divorce," by Kristen and Christian Paasch
In our work to reform Virginia’s family courts, we certainly empathize with the emotions and goals of the marchers. Sadly, our family courts remain unchanged from a 1950s dynamic of “women stay home, men stay at work.”
This mindset has led to the status quo of sole child custody after divorce or separation versus shared parenting — a flexible arrangement where a child spends as close to equal time as possible with each parent.
February 6, 2017. The Orlando Political Observer, Orlando, Florida, "Parent’s Organization comes out in favor of Alimony Reform Bill," Quotes Alan Frisher, National Parents Organization of Florida
The latest alimony reform bill would allow for more predictability in the Judge’s decision making it easier for the respective parties to financially plan for their lives following divorce but removes a controversial 50-50 child sharing component which drew Governor Rick Scott’s veto pen last year.
“The concept of permanent alimony is outdated in today’s society – alimony recipients must take some responsibility to earn a living after divorce in this day and age,” said Alan Frisher, Chair of National Parents Organization of Florida. “This welcome change would provide predictability and consistency for all, plus, divorcing spouses could settle their financial differences out of court versus spending countless dollars on wasteful litigation.”
February 2, 2017. Ladue News, Ladue, Missouri, "Revisiting Visitation Rights," Highlights National Parents Organization of Missouri
One problem. As in most legislation, legalese shrouds the nuances and niceties of HB 1550.
January 31, 2017, Laredo Times, "Co-parenting Post-Divorce Eases Many Social Ills," By Robert Franklin, National Parents Organization
Courts do this despite social science demonstrating that equal or near-equal parenting time for each parent produces the best outcomes for children of divorce. In 2014, Dr. Richard Warshak, author of “Divorce Poison,” analyzed the existing science on the welfare of the children of divorce. His work was endorsed by 110 scientists worldwide working in the field of children’s well-being and parenting time.
Authoritative as Warshak’s work is, the science on the need of children for fathers scarcely stops with it. For decades, we’ve known that fatherlessness is the bane of children and society. Put simply, we should be doing everything in our power to keep fathers in children’s lives.
January 30, 2017, San Antonio Express-News, "Co-Parenting, Post-Divorce, Eases Many Social Ills," By Robert Franklin, National Parents Organization
Beginning in the late 1960s, the institution of no-fault divorce dramatically increased divorce rates. No-fault divorce was what spurred state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, to file a bill that would make divorces harder and more costly to obtain.
Krause’s bill isn’t likely to pass, but whatever its fate, we in Texas and across the country can do a better job of dealing with families when they split up. Specifically, we should make shared parenting the default outcome of every divorce in which children are involved and neither parent is unfit to care for them.