To: National Parents Organization Affiliates Leadership
From: Rita Fuerst Adams, National Parents Organization
The first meeting of National Parents Organization Affiliates leadership was held via conference call Thursday evening, November 6th. Forty volunteer leaders from twenty-three states participated to learn about National Parents Organization’s goal to introduce Shared Parenting in Temporary Custody Orders in 2015 and National Parents Organization’s work to grade child custody statutes in every state.
National Parents Organization is asking each of our state affiliates to:
Please note that all materials that you need for introducing shared parenting in temporary custody orders are on Sharepoint. Look in the National Library for the folder Shared Parenting in Temporary Custody Orders. The list of affiliate leaders is there too.
Summary of November 6th meeting:
Ned Holstein, Chair and Founder, joined the meeting early to welcome volunteers and to speak about the upcoming Divorce Corp. conference. He encouraged our leaders to attend informing us that it is a great opportunity to meet each other and to learn more about our issues. National Parents Organization is hosting a reception on Saturday evening, November 15th. Please let Rita Fuerst Adams know that you are attending Divorce Corp. conference so we know to look for you.
Don Hubin, Chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Ohio; and member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization addressed the importance of shared parenting in temporary custody orders and why National Parents Organization is making this our priority. At the early stage of parental separation, children are concerned that they are losing one of their parents. Beginning with an assumption of shared parenting is helpful to our children. Ideally parents should cooperate but we know this does not happen. Children need both of their parents to help them in this adjustment period.
Not awarding shared parenting in temporary custody is a major impediment to not awarding in permanent custody orders. When shared parenting in permanent orders is routinely opposed by judicial organizations, we are told it is because we cannot have a presumption. We cannot have cookie cutter orders. Judges use this to work against us. But, for establishing temporary orders, the court does not know anything about the case. So, the judges cannot go before the legislature and say they need to make the decision in the best interest of the children because they do not have any information to make such a decision. Awarding shared parenting in temporary custody orders provides a testing ground and parents will have to stand up and prove they want it.
Matt Hale, chair, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of Kentucky, addressed how he has been working in Kentucky to promote shared parenting in temporary custody orders. Matt said that his representative emailed the legislation to his local family court judge. This judge spoke well of it and agreed with introducing shared parenting in temporary custody orders. His bill died in committee because a line was added to it. It spoke to parents having the financial resources, without this could not get shared parenting. He got the line removed and Kentucky has refiled the legislation.
Curtis Vandermolen, member, Executive Committee, National Parents Organization of California, spoke to his history of 10 years working with the legislature. Reminded people to be attuned to their states own culture. It can impact strategy. Noted that Matt spoke well about introducing a bill in Kentucky and much of this will work in most states. He reminded people to know the deadline. If you miss deadline may push your work to the following year. Best to have someone in your committee to work on questions. Ok, to say you do not know and get back to the legislator later. Recommended getting. Good to meet with the staff. They are first line to educate. Reminded members to remember the Governor. Still needed even if you have strong voice with legislators.
California has been working for the past year to introduce shared parenting in temporary custody.
Burton spoke about the national grade card and why this is important for our work and our media strategy. It is going live the week of November 10th and is going to key target media.