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American Coalition for
Fathers and Children
Shared Parenting - Children Need Both Parents
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Upcoming Hearings, Shared Parenting Updates, Great Research You Can Use, The Supreme Court Hears a Significant Case Tomorrow
(links to bills and hearings are not likely to function however the bills will be available via internet search according to the state. The links to research articles and the camretta supreme court case below are active)
There is a great deal of information in this newsletter, we'll get right to it.
Last Wednesday the South Dakota House passed a Shared Parenting bill. House Bill 1255 passed the floor by a vote of 53-16. In years past we have seen several shared parenting bills make it through one chamber only to fail in the other. The bill now makes its way to the Senate for a hearing on March 2. We will be watching closely to see how this bill fares.
Last Thursday the Maryland House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on HB1132, another shared parenting bill. HB1132 entered the hearing with the 10 of 22 members of the committee as bill cosponsors. Testimony lasted for 3 hours and is available here for your viewing. Proponents of the bill educated legislators for 2 hours, while opposition spoke for an hour. Thanks to everyone who attended.
The hearing is well worth watching. Particularly the opposition (1:57 on the time line) from those individuals who 'profit' by maintaining the status quo. It's beneficial to learn their arguments and understand how to counter them. In one particularly outrageous segment you'll see custody evaluators testifying against shared parenting while blatantly spinning the research about child development and children's need for both parents.
Recently ACFC brought you Carl LaBove's story regarding the child he is supposed to support who is not his, but comedian Sam Kinison's. Carl performed in Baltimore last week and after co-hosting the morning show on Baltimore's 98 Rock station Thursday, came down to the Capital and shared some thoughts (1:09 on the time line) with the legislative committee. Carl spent the last hour of the morning interview talking about the damage the current system causes children and parents.
Minnesota's Shared Parenting bill HF322 is still moving forward. Molly Olsen asks Minnesota residents to continue contacting legislators urging them to learn more about this bill.
Shared Parenting bills have been introduced in both the Texas Senate and House. More on this in an upcoming newsletter.
Shared Parenting Bills in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and several other states are coming soon.
Several weeks ago we brought you news on the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Men. We are pleased to report the NH House of Representatives voted to retain the commission and have forwarded the bill to the NH Senate for consideration.
Upcoming Hearing in Springfield, Illinois this Wednesday
This past February 12, 2011 Illinois Fathers and Parental Alienation Awareness Organization hosted a joint press conference in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Springfield to mark the introduction of the Steve Watkins Memorial Bill. There was a great turnout and the conference was covered by the Springfield print and television press. The bill is designed to increase the penalties for access interference to the same types and levels of severity as those that accompany non- payment of child support. It's about time denial of parenting time is taken seriously. To your child, "your presence is much more important than your paycheck." Steve Watkins was murdered by his child's grandmother when he went to pick her up for his weekend. This Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. there will be a hearing on this bill. Please contact and visit Illinois Fathers for more information. Please plan to attend and to speak. If you are in Illinois and have been denied access to your child this is your opportunity to let legislators know they need to act.
The Most Important Research Paper on Shared Parenting You'll Read This Year
Maybe you're wondering why there is so much recent activity across the nation for Shared Parenting. One of the reasons may just be this report. Dr. Linda Nielsen has written a review of existing research supporting Shared Parenting. For the last year we have been quietly seeding centers of influence with this information. This material is vital for all who share an interest in our issues and we are pleased Dr. Nielsen approved its widespread release. Enjoy.
Supreme Court Case on Tuesday
ACFC has filed a brief in an important parental rights case scheduled to be heard tomorrow in Washington, DC by the US Supreme Court. In Camreta v. Greene the court is scheduled to hear arguments concerning limits to government authority when questioning children without parental notification or consent. While the case is not specifically related to divorce or custody many of our readers have dealt with overly zealous child protective services organizations and know first hand the damage that accompanies a false allegation of abuse. You can read the ACFC brief here. Joining us on the brief is the Family Research Council. This case has drawn considerable attention and is being considered by many to be a landmark case in the area of parental rights and autonomy. There were several dozen briefs filed by various organizations. All of them are located here. The briefs and their arguments contain a wealth of information, you will see very clearly the positions of those who stand for parents and children and those who think government needs 'open access' to families and their children.
We appreciate the people around the nation who are actively working to improve family law systems around the nation. We need your help to continue these efforts, please click this link and make a contribution. Thanks again for your support for ACFC and for your involvement in these efforts.