Recently, I got an interesting press release from the National Parents Organization, which said the organization believes “… that a powerful measure to reduce the number of mass shootings is going unexplored.”
That sentence caught my attention and I read on: According to the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, “The most reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families. Fatherless families, in turn, are caused in part by family courts that exclude fathers from post-divorce parenting. By instituting shared parenting after divorce or separation, fathers would be allowed to continue to show their sons the right way to grow into manhood.”
It has always baffled me that the bulk of the parenting seems to be placed on the mother whenever there is a divorce or separation. Many women who go through this trying time, must raise their children with a cut in income and/or a change in their lifestyle. Many, who had never worked outside the home, find themselves in the job market when often their only skills have been as stay-at-home moms. It is a rude awakening when this happens to a family — especially where there are male children involved.
In the release, Dr. Ned Holstein, founder and board chair of National Parents Organization said: “Unfortunately, however, our nation’s family courts prevent millions of divorced and separated fathers from having meaningful relationships with their children, which only leave their children more vulnerable to this unfortunate behavior.”
“The repeat narrative is deeply troubling,” Holstein said. “An individual who grew up without the love and support of both parents turns to unfathomable, deadly gun violence. This must stop, and one piece of the solution is to ensure children have both parents intimately involved in their lives after separation or divorce… With this in mind, I urge legislators in all states to join the family court reform movement to make shared parenting the new status quo in our society, if both parents are fit and there has been no significant domestic violence.”
Well, now. I agree to most of what Holstein has to say about this serious matter. But not all boys who grew up without the love and support of both parents turn to “unfathomable deadly gun violence.” I know of one who grew up in a fatherless home, and became the president of the United States.
Still, as a single mom who raised two sons, I know how frustrating it can be for a mom who must work outside the home and still is expected to instill all the positive male values in her son or sons. It is a hard hill to climb. It is hard to know who to trust with your children. In my case, I turned to the pastor and other godly men at my church to help me with the upbringing of my sons. It was a blessing to me as well as to my sons. I realize, though, that this isn’t the case with a lot of women. It is hard to know who to trust with your children.
While it is true our family courts must do more to move toward shared parenting whenever there is a divorce or separation in a family, an old saying comes to my mind concerning laws to make this possible: You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. In other words, the lawmakers can make the law, but enforcing it is still something else. There is no law to make a person love his or her children. Love can’t be legislated. We simply have to trust the courts to do the right thing whenever the law is broken.
The bottom line is still this: “… Our children need both parents in their lives to thrive,” Holstein said. “For this reason, lawmakers in every state must move forward with family court reform as soon as possible.”
I spoke with Holstein, who lives in Massachusetts, by phone. He said strides are being made. Within the past year, at least 22 states — Florida included — have passed and implemented legislation supportive of shared parenting after divorce or separation whenever the parents are fit.
December Conference in Germany on Shared Parenting a Unique Opportunity
Don’t forget to register for the December 9th through 11th conference of the International Council on Shared Parenting in Bonn, Germany described in last week’s newsletter, it will give you access to important information on shared parenting that is not widely available in the U.S. This information could help in your individual case. And professionals will need this information to remain fully informed on one of the most important issues of the day.
On October 3, a good crowd turned out to view the hard-hitting documentary, DivorceCorp, sponsored by the Maryland chapter of National Parents Organization in Laurel, Maryland. The film, directed by Joseph Sorge and narrated by Dr. Drew, sheds light on the ways in which family courts operate as a “big business” that profits at the expense of families.
National Parents Organization Moving Forward in Virginia
“Child Support Guidelines” refers to a formula that determines how much child support is required to be paid. Each state writes its own Guidelines. Typically, a state’s formula takes into account things such as how many children there are, how old they are, and the income of each parent. In a few states, it also takes into account how the parenting time is divided between the parents.
National Parents Organization Members Push for Shared Parenting Legislation in Massachusetts
Massachusetts members continue to support shared parenting legislation with phone calls to their legislators. Recently, the in-boxes of numerous legislators became full due to these efforts (although it is not our intention to harass or cause inconvenience). And soon there will be membership meetings around the state to plan further actions in support of Senate Bill S834. If you are willing to help organize a meeting in your area, contact our Organizer, Bram Haver, at BramHaver@yahoo.com. Bram will give you all the help you need.