Constitutionalizing Family Law

| Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice |

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The Federalization of Family Law

Vol. 36 No. 3

Historically, family law has been a matter of state law. State legislatures define what constitutes a family and enact the laws that regulate marriage, parentage, adoption, child welfare, divorce, family support obligations, and property rights. State courts generally decide family law cases. But since the 1930s, Congress has enacted numerous federal statutes to address serious problems regarding family law matters that states have been either unwilling or unable to resolve, especially when the welfare of children is involved. Today, congressional legislation, decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the participation of the United States in more international treaties have “federalized” more and more areas of family law traditionally left to the states.DivorceCorp - Consulted a minister and psychiatrist NOT Lawyer - AFLA Blog 2016

A multitude of federal laws now regulate and impact families; some specifically confer jurisdiction on federal courts. As a result, federal courts now hear a growing number of family law cases, especially those that involve complex interjurisdictional or full faith and credit issues. The Supreme Court has contributed to this federalization by “constitutionalizing” family law. It has repeatedly used the U.S. Constitution, in particular the Fourteenth Amendment, to extend constitutional privacy protections to increasing numbers of persons and to invalidate state laws in areas of law previously thought to be the exclusive province of state legislatures.

Internationalization of the law likewise contributes to federalization. As people and goods move freely across country borders, so do their family law issues and problems. The U.S. State Department now actively participates in the drafting of international treaties, working with the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the United Nations (UN) to address family law issues on a global scale. iinguanzo-v-rose-causes-20151The United States has ratified and implemented many international law conventions. The Supreme Court has noted the judicial opinions of the European Court of Human Rights in cases involving privacy rights of same-sex partners and the juvenile death penalty.

Congressional Action since the 1930s

For almost two hundred years, the fifty states regulated family law because the federal government did not. The Tenth Amendment left states with “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it.” Beginning with the New Deal legislation of the 1930s, Congress has used its powers under the Commerce Clause, the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the spending power to set policy. A brief look at the areas of child support and child protection illustrate how Congress has set the national social welfare agenda by passing laws, allocating money for programs, and requiring states to comply with federal regulations to receive funding.

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Equal Time with parents is best for children of separation – divorce.

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Equal Time with parents is best for children of separation – divorce.

Key Legislators Need To Be Re-Elected New Legislators Will Need an Education

Urgent support of key reform legislators needed NOW

You can help put the right people there!

Who will be sitting in Tallahassee?  You can help put the right people there!

Our mission this coming legislative session will be to, once again, educate educate, educate.  Politics are cyclical and there has been a major overhaul to the political landscape.  There is a new legislature coming to Tallahassee.  Republicans have their back against the wall, but should still hold ground.  There will be about 60 new House Reps and 10 new Senators that will need education from the ground up as to the need for alimony reform.
 
This can be an energizing moment for us if we double down instead of fading away.  We must support Senator Kelli Stargel‘s campaign and donate at www.VoteStargel.com.  If we show support, then she should support us once again in the Senate.  She has taken a tremendous amount of heat over the years of her support of alimony reform.  We have to ask her to continue to support us in the Senate.
 
We also must support and donate to State Rep Colleen Burton at www.ColleenBurton.com . Colleen has learned about this issue and is ready to, once again, support us.  She likes the challenge, but must get re-elected to be able to do so.  I believe David Santiago of Volusha County will help co-sponsor our bill in the House with Colleen.  He decided not to run for Congress because he didn’t want to get in the way of Rubio’s run and the fallout with other Congress front runners.  They will make a good team…if Colleen wins.
 

Nov 15th general election is big news for Florida.  Our State will have many newcomers and some old timers.  We will have our work cut out for us and will need to organize our districts and put members in charge of contacting the politicians in those districts.

Do your part today so you can enjoy freedom in the future.

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Alan’s Message
Dear Family Law Reform Members:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  It’s amazing to me just how political our divorce law really has become.  It doesn’t seem that our law is based on what is fair, but instead who wields the most political power in our Legislature.  This upcoming session is going to be very challenging for alimony reform.  Key issues that our Legislators face will include economic development, health care, LGBT rights, education and the environment.  In order to get a bill for alimony reform in the mix, we will have to make certain that all of our key legislators are on board.
 
The November election will decide if the GOP maintains its super-majority hold on 80 seats in the 120 member House.  I have been following the trends, and I will tell you that I’m not all that certain that this will occur.  The outcome of the race could be swayed, in part, by how well presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump get their parties’ voters to the polls. If Hillary can win, and win by (a) two-, three-, four-, five-point victory, then a lot of ballot races may go Democratic.  Conversely, if Trump can keep it close or if he can win … then the opposite will be true and a lot of these ballot races will go Republican.
 
If you have been a part of this alimony reform movement over the years, you have seen voting occur on party lines, with a few outlanders on both sides of the fence.  Whether you personally vote Democrat or Republican, it is better for our goal of alimony reform if our legislature is Republican focused as many of the Democrats seem to have a view that entitlements are justified.
 
We have a proposed bill that has been reviewed and approved by the Family Section of the Florida Bar as well as many Legislators.  As a Financial Advisor and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, I have worked closely over many years with leaders of the Family Section, our Legislators, and the Executive Board of Family Law Reform to help negotiate the terms, values, and ideals of this proposal.  While it doesn’t accomplish everything we want, it certainly provides relief and more importantly, gives permanent alimony payers hope for a future free from the bondage of their alimony payments.
 
We mustn’t let the political landscape stop our efforts for alimony reform.  If anything, we must push harder to show our resolve and our determination for reform. We can’t let the Family Section win by allowing current law to maintain its place in our society.  Change is necessary; change is needed; and change will occur as long as we don’t give up.  The highest court in the land is the land of public opinion.  We must make our voices heard and continue toward achieving our goal of alimony reform.
 
If we let up, we lose.  We will not lose…and we will not let up!!
 
Alan

Will You Help Update Florida’s Outdated Family Laws?

Everything Helps!  Click Here to set up monthly contributions or make a single contribution.
 
Or send checks to:
Family Law Reform, Inc.
215 E. Burleigh Blvd.
Tavares, FL  32778
 
If FLR has an income stream, we can focus on the issues and not fundraising.  If anyone writes grants, family law surveillance would seem to benefit all Floridians. Thank You for helping Florida’s families.

Source: Urgent support of key reform legislators needed NOWProtest - Tallahassee FL Nov 5 - Parental Rights - 2016

The Tallahassee Thousand ~ Mark Your Calendars

We will be standing up and speaking up for our children.the-people-who-think-they-are-crazy-enought-to-change-the-world-are-the-ones-who-do

Children need both parents! Stronger Families & Stronger Children Build Stronger Communities

Bring your parents, grandparents, children, friends and family.

We will be 1,000 strong in Tally!!!

About the Venue — Saturday, November 5 at 9 AM – 6 PM

Stronger Families & Stronger Children Build Stronger Communities 

We are Fathers helping Fathers. We are parents helping parents. We are advocates dedicated to bringing a change to end fatherlessness in Florida.

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The Dysfunctional Family Court System Organizational Chart:dysfunctional-family-courts-2015

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Toddler’s Plea To Mom For Amicable Divorce

Three-year-old Tiana pleads with her divorce mother to remain friends with her dad. 

“I don’t want you and my dad to be replaced by meanies again,” adorable 3-year-old Tiana tells her mother. “I want you and my dad to be placed, settled, and to be friends.

“I’m not trying to be mean. I just want everyone to be friends. And if I can be nice, I think all of us can be nice too. I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m trying to do my best in my heart. Nothing else than that.”

Little Tiana’s plea to her divorced mother to remain friends with her father went viral over the last week and has racked up well over 1 million views. The video is sweet, cute, funny, and incredibly articulate for a toddler.

It should also give all divorced parents a reminder that they should try to do everything they can to remain amicable after they break up.

Divorce is unfortunately combative by nature. Even couples who start the divorce process on friendly terms often turn against each other after going through contentious litigation.

But amicable divorce is possible and is the best antidote to help mitigate the harmful effects divorce can have on children.

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