March 25, 2014 by Michelle Glogovac, Chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of California

Having organized as an affiliate in late 2013, National Parents Organization of California entered the New Year in a very strong way! Recently becoming the chair of the executive committee, I have worked with our committee to pursue a well-formed strategy, which has led to impressive positioning for the California Affiliate.

In December, January and February, National Parents Organization was able to advance the top two legislative issues for 2014 – a presumption of shared parenting for temporary orders, and a change in terminology to level the field between parents in the courtroom.  Both policies were well received, and the California Affiliate was able to secure a Member of the Legislature to draft them.  National Parents Organization of California found support among the more than a dozen lawmakers that were contacted, and although neither proposal was introduced as a bill for 2014, we have willing authors for 2015.  Although the California Affiliate is very new, we have been able to accomplish much in little time because we have a strong message of fairness and equality.

National Parents Organization sponsored legislation is off the table for this year; however, we still need the help of our members.  Each year, legislators consider new laws that can support or destroy our families – especially parents and children that end up in Family Court.  Through this blog, we will keep you informed about which policies are being considered, and how you can express your voice.

Three bills currently working their way through the process are:
AB 414, by Assembly Member Fox, reenacts a law which expired on January 1 of this year.  This law inappropriately conflates the issues of spousal support and child support, by providing that the termination of a child support order allows the court to increase spousal support.  It should be clear by the nature of the terms “spousal support” and “child support”, which individual the money should be supporting.  Money paid pursuant to a child support order should be exclusively for support of the child, such as housing, food, clothing, school, extracurricular activities, and sports.  If the recipient spouse is truly using the money for its stated purpose, a child turning 18, or choosing to live with the other parent, should not have a negative financial impact on the recipient spouse’s ability to support himself or herself.  If the recipient spouse is using a portion of child support to provide for himself or herself, it should be clear that the child support order is too great, and should be immediately reduced.

National Parents Organization of California opposes AB 414.  We believe that it perpetuates unacceptably high child support and inappropriately conflates child support with spousal support.

AB 1498, by Assembly Member Campos, extends existing law to require a court to consider issuing a restraining order in criminal cases of sexual assault if good cause exists.  Existing law already requires a court to consider issuing a restraining order in criminal cases of domestic violence if good cause exists. 

National Parents Organization of California supports AB 1498.  We believe that it is important for victims of sexual assault be protected, and build our legislative proposals with the protection of children and their families from assault in mind.

SB 1099, by Senator Steinberg, improves the ability for siblings that have been separated by the court to request visitation with one another.  This bill is mostly directed at the foster care system and would allow separated siblings to connect while building and enhancing their relationships.

National Parents Organization of California supports SB 1099.  Children and family are our main focus and this bill would help siblings maintain their familial relationships.

In order to continue the good work begun by the California executive committee, we need your help!  All of the National Parents Organization of California executive committee members are entirely volunteer.  Your contribution is necessary in order to continue to build our voice in California and hold lawmakers accountable to fairness for families.   Every gift helps and counts!

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn how you can help or if you have ideas or suggestions that you would like to share.

National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

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#California, #AssemblyMemberFox, #AssemblyMemberCampos, #SenatorSteinberg, #AB414, #AB1498, #SB1099

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Volunteer Testimonial

"Facts show those younger children whose parents have equal shared custody are doing better emotionally, psychologically, academically and socially. Unfortunately, the Connecticut family court system has always been about one parent winning, and the other losing. Working with National Parents Organization we can help create an Equally Shared Parenting Task Force in the Connecticut Legislature. The purpose would be to create a law that would improve the lives of our children by experiencing direct support, love, and care from both parents and extended families."

By Paul Schaffer, Member, Connecticut Executive Committee