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Video Support for Shared Parenting

Dear Michael;

Below is another sampling of the ongoing efforts to reform family law. More and more legislators are taking a public stand for Shared Parenting. Momentum continues to grow as efforts to reform family law continue.

Blue October and Shared Parenting Seattle Style 

The Showbox in Seattle, Wa. was the latest stop this past Sunday in Blue October’s 40 city tour supporting their new album ‘Any Man In America’ and promoting Shared Parenting. From the show comes this great video of state Senator Jim Kastama talking with the audience about Shared Parenting. Senator Katsama is a long time supporter of Shared Parenting. While there is still plenty of room for improvement, shared parenting is on the rise in Washington. Note the tremendous crowd response at both the beginning and end of the video in support of Shared Parenting. The public ‘gets it.’ In legislative sessions earlier this year ACFC affiliates and supporters played pivotal roles in the introduction of Shared Parenting bills in over a dozen states. Many of these bills are still active. Kudos to Kevin Turner, leader of our Washington affiliate ‘The Other Parent,’ for his efforts in bringing these legislators to the Blue October concert. From left to right in the photo are Sen. Jim Kastama, Rep. Bruce Chandler, Justin Furstenfeld and Kevin Turner. Of note in this particular photo is that one legislator is a democrat and the other a republican affirming once again that shared parenting is an issue that is much greater than any one party and should be supported by legislators regardless of political affiliation.

South Carolina Paper Runs Story on Shared Parenting Bill

The Fort Mill Times recently ran this article on the efforts of father Jeremy Walter to move a Shared Parenting bill in South Carolina. The article comments on the known gender bias of the courts with several legislators expressing support for the intent of the legislation. You’ll recall that South Carolina is the state that routinely locks up poor child support obligors and led to the recent Turner v. Rogers Supreme Court Case.

It’s impossible to ignore the linkage between the lack of Shared Parenting in custody cases and abuses within state child support systems. Both custody and child support systems are in need of comprehensive overhaul. Proposals positing that child support agencies should ‘mission creep’ and become monitors of access and interference issues are problematic. We are wary of suggestions that child support agencies should simply do a better job of ‘tracking’ individuals. What’s needed is a drastic reduction of the footprint of both the family courts and child support bureaucracies in the lives of American citizens. Proponents of the status quo recognize presumptive shared parenting addresses many of the problems arising from these government ‘systems’ hence the entrenched resistance. Congress should hold public oversight hearings regarding citizen abuses by support agencies.

Craig Schelske Discusses Custody Case on Anderson Cooper

In May of this year we brought you the story of Craig Schelske, a Nashville father who has been seeking to gain additional time with his children. Craig’s ex-wife happens to be country music singer, Sara Evans. Their divorce and ensuing custody battle was highly contentious, and public, with various types of false allegations being lodged against Craig. The result was a custody decision which turned him into a visitor in the life of his children. For most readers this all comes as no surprise.

However, in Craig’s case he was able to secure an apology and settlement, shortly before going to trial, from Evan’s attorney regarding the false statements. Unfortunately Craig has been gagged by the court and is not allowed to talk about his case or set the record straight despite being defamed by opposing counsel.

Today on Anderson Cooper’s new afternoon talk show Cooper will interview Craig and several others who have been through the family courts. In addition to Craig, several mothers without custody will also be discussing their experiences in the courts. We have no idea how the show will play out, although it’s likely the public will once again see how a number of ensuing problems could have been avoided had shared parenting been the presumptive starting point. ACFC appreciates Craig ‘stepping up’ and being a voice for fathers and family court reform. For more information on when the show airs in your area visit www.andersoncooper.com. Leave your comments at the show website.

Other News

This past week Guilty Until Proven Innocent was publicly shown in both Illinois and Minnesota. On Saturday, September 24th, there will be another showing of the film in St. Paul Minnesota at the William Mitchell College of Law in room 323. Start time is 2:00 p.m. The screening is being hosted by our Minnesota affiliate, the Center for Parental Responsibility. (www.cpr-mn.org) You can purchase a copy of the film at www.gupifilm.com.

ACFC continues its leadership role in reforming family law and pushing for the adoption of Shared Parenting. Two weeks ago ACFC’s Michael McCormick was invited to address a gathering of attorneys, businessmen and family court personnel at a luncheon in Houston, Texas. A brief 15 minute presentation on the social and legal imperatives for Shared Parenting was followed by 30 minutes of non-stop questions. On conclusion of the luncheon a prominent family court judge indicated agreement with all points on both the need for Shared Parenting and the solid legal framework which supports the presumption of parental equality and autonomy. We are making a difference. Thanks to Chris M. for arranging this opportunity.

We need your help to continue these efforts. It costs money to get the word out and keep these issues before the public. Over the years we have helped pass many good bills, defeated numerous bad pieces of legislation and moved the culture significantly closer to shared parenting. With your help the efforts will continue. Please support these efforts by contributing to our advertising and public awareness fund. Thank you.

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