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Do Child Support Rules in Missouri Violate State and Federal Laws and Regs?

March 18, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The Missouri Department of Social Services appears to be discriminating against non-custodial parents in its child support enforcement policies and, more important, violating federal and state laws and regulations regarding non-custodial parents’ access to downward modifications of child support orders.

That’s the message sent by NPO’s Linda Reutzel and three others in two letters to the DSS acting director and the director of its child support division.

DSS regulations routinely refer to the parent owing child support as the “absent” parent or the “non-custodial parent.”  Both suggest a state of affairs that’s generally untrue in child custody cases.  The notion that the payer of child support is in any way “absent” from his child’s life is almost always untrue.

 

‘Bitter Custody’s’ Bitter ‘Journalism’ on Parental Alienation

March 17, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

We’ve seen effort to discredit both the very idea of parental alienation and efforts to help alienated children and their targeted parents before.  And it looks like we’ll be seeing them again.  Here’s another, this time courtesy of “Reveal” for the Center for Investigative Reporting (Reveal News, 3/9/19).  But if this is investigative reporting, I’ll eat my hat.

The program that was aired by, among others, National Public Radio, runs to type.  Its message is that (a) the idea of parental alienation is “controversial,” (b) that if a kid says he/she despises one parent, there’s a good reason, (c) the idea of parental alienation is nothing but a legal “strategy” with which an abusive parent can gain custody and (d) programs to help alienated kids don’t work.

 

Study: Pennsylvania Judges Order Shared Parenting in Under 15% of Cases

March 15, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

One of the common rejoinders from anti-shared parenting advocates to the call for equal parenting is that judges pretty much order shared parenting anyway, so there’s no reason to pass a law establishing a presumption of equality.  That would be a cheerful thought if it were true, but, whenever we see an analysis of actual custody outcomes, the claim is never borne out.

The Dads’ Resource Center, a non-profit in Pennsylvania devoted to ensuring the meaningful involvement of both parents in children’s lives, studied 700 cases in the Keystone State and, sadly but predictably, the results are much what we’d expect (WTAJ, 3/13/19).

 

Fraud in Missouri Adoption Nets Lawyer Just a Tap on the Wrist

March 13, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This case is a couple of years old, but offers a view of the adoption industry that we often get glimpses of but rarely see at such close range.  In re Sanford P. Krigel is a review of disciplinary action taken against adoption lawyer Krigel.  It’s amazing because the Missouri Supreme Court gives Krigel little more than a tap on the wrist for conduct that the dissent in the case argues merits disbarment.
Krigel is suspended from the practice of law for six months, with execution of such suspension stayed, subject to Krigel’s completion of a two-year term of probation in accordance with conditions imposed by this Court.
In other words, Krigel was allowed to continue practicing law as if nothing had happened.  If he received no other complaints within two years, he would be out from under the watchful eye of Missouri’s disciplinary authority.

 

Irish Examiner Goes to Bat for Equal Parental Rights

March 8, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

I’m pleased to see the Irish Examiner editorializing in favor of greater rights for unmarried Irish fathers (Irish Examiner, 3/7/19).  The piece begins with a trenchant quotation from Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for poetry, was wryly dubbed “Famous Seamus” by his friends.

Heaney’s poem honors his father and connects his farm labor with the poet’s own poetic labors.  Both men “dig.”  Given the value of fathers to children, the Examiner then poses the important question,


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