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Mark Your Calendar Now for a Unique Opportunity in 2017!

One Trip to Boston, Two Great Conferences.

First, attend the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017 (ICSP 2017) on May 29-30, 2017 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.

Then attend AFCC 2017 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel immediately after the close of ICSP 2017 on May 30, 2017, a five minute walk from the Westin.

NPO-ICSP 2017 preliminary program available now! #NPO-ICSP2017 npo-icsp2017.org/program/

Registration & Housing for NPO-ICSP 2017 available now. npo-icsp2017.org/registrationhousing/

Questions can be directed to [email protected] Organization.org

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May 28, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

For once, a commentator on the sad state of American secondary education deals with the root of the problem (City Journal, 5/15/17). Kay Hymowitz was shocked when her old high school – Cheltenham High School in a suburb of Philadelphia – made national news because of a student brawl that injured, among others, four security guards and eight teachers. So, for the first time since she graduated, Hymowitz went back to CHS for a community meeting about what went wrong and how to fix it.

She was not amused.

In addition to memories, I found a stark illustration of the nation’s evasions about racial gaps in education.

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May 26, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Time and again we see family lawyers opposing a proposed improvement to children’s legal right to time with their fathers. Essentially every legislative move toward insuring that children can spend more time with their fathers is met with impassioned and often illegal resistance from family lawyers. Such was the case in North Dakota in 2014 and again in Florida in 2015, to take just two recent examples.

Well the family law Section of the Florida State Bar is at it again and this time we can see the depths to which they’ll sink. Put simply, Florida SB 590 would, if it becomes law, have little-to-no impact on the time kids spend with their fathers. It’s as toothless a bill as we’re likely to see, but that doesn’t stop the Family Law Section from opposing it. Even the hint of the possibility that fathers may improve their access to their kids is too much for the family lawyers to tolerate and so they oppose it.

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May 25, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Following up on yesterday’s piece in which I added to Martin Daubney’s assessment of the state of anti-dad/anti-male vituperation throughout the English-speaking world (at least). Daubney rightly bemoaned same and placed responsibility for our widespread misandry at the feet of a radical feminism that’s never made a secret of its fear of and disdain for men and boys.

But, as I said, the causes of same run deeper than that. We’ve accepted women into the workplace and into all areas of public life, but when it comes to men emphasizing the private role of father, we bridle. Therefore, men in family courts who seek equal access to their kids post-divorce are routinely denied, despite what they ask being in their children’s best interest. At this point, the culture isn’t comfortable with men playing the traditionally female role, despite our promotion of women in the men’s.

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May 24, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Here’s an interesting perspective and one that I agree with, at least to an extent (Heat Street, 4/7/17). Martin Daubney writes in Heat Street that “There’s a Hysterical, Paranoid War on Fatherhood – and It Hurts All of Us.” He goes on to remind us of several disgraceful episodes in the recent past in which fathers were presumed to be child molesters or worse based on no more evidence than their sex.

Who doesn’t remember the dad who attempted to check into a hotel for a holiday with his daughter, only to be presumed a pedophile, grilled by management, confronted by the police and required to prove that he was the girl’s father?

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May 22, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The public. Those opposed to shared parenting just hate the public. We’ve seen that in the craven ways the Nebraska Court Administrator asserted the most bizarre and legally dubious claims for the sole purpose of denying the public the right to know how family court judges are trained with regard to shared custody and parenting time.

We now have those records and it’s easy to see why the anti-dad crowd would want to hide behind a veil of secrecy. The contents of the training materials offered to Nebraska judges were unrelentingly anti-father and, in the process, anti-child as well. Plus the depths to which state officials sank to keep judges from hearing pro-shared-parenting messages were truly disgraceful. The Director of Judicial Branch Education actually lied in writing to Dr. Linda Nielsen, claiming the organization didn’t have the money for her to travel to Nebraska to give a presentation, while simultaneously offering to pay anti-shared parenting advocate Robert Emery to do exactly that.

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ICSP2017 Logo

Mark Your Calendar Now for a Unique Opportunity in 2017!

One Trip to Boston, Two Great Conferences.

First, attend the International Conference on Shared Parenting 2017 (ICSP 2017) on May 29-30, 2017 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.

Then attend AFCC 2017 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel immediately after the close of ICSP 2017 on May 30, 2017, a five minute walk from the Westin.

NPO-ICSP 2017 preliminary program available now! #NPO-ICSP2017 npo-icsp2017.org/program/

Registration & Housing for NPO-ICSP 2017 available now. Make sure to register by April 15 for our reduced early bird fees! npo-icsp2017.org/registrationhousing/

Questions can be directed to [email protected] Organization.org

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May 21, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

As I showed last time, the Nebraska Committee on Judicial Branch Education first invited shared parenting advocate Dr. Linda Nielsen to speak to its judges’ conference in the Fall of 2014 and then disinvited her. Its representative, director Carole McMahon-Boies claimed that was because a tight budget prohibited their having Nielsen speak. That was a lie. We know it was a lie because the same day she disinvited Nielsen, she invited anti-shared parenting advocate Robert Emery to speak to the same group at the same time. McMahon-Boies never mentioned any issue of budgetary strictures to Emery. The JBE paid his honorarium and expenses just as it had promised Nielsen.

That brings us to the last of the documents turned over by the Administrator of Courts, Corey Steel, to shared parenting advocate Dr. Les Veskrna pursuant to his Open Records Act request. Those are copies of the slides of Emery’s presentation to the judges. Whoever decided to disinvite Nielsen clearly got his/her money’s worth from Emery who rarely has a good word to say about either fathers or shared parenting.

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May 19, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The past three posts have been dedicated to reviewing the first documents on the education of Nebraska’s family court judges regarding parenting time, custody orders and children’s welfare. They were produced by Nebraska’s Court Administrator after a two-year fight to keep them shielded from public view. The Nebraska Supreme Court made short work of the Administrators claims to secrecy, so now we know what information judges have been getting in the years 2012 and 2014.

As I said previously, Dr. Lisa Blankenau’s presentation in 2012 was replete with misstatements about the science on shared parenting, overnights for very young children and the role of conflict in deciding custody and parenting time. Weirdly, she also made several statements to the effect that children need meaningful relationships with their fathers. A fair summary of her presentation would be that, at every turn, her advice could be read as marginalizing fathers in their children’s lives and at the same time arguing for kids having full, meaningful relationships with them. How she proposed to accomplish both, I have no idea and she didn’t let on.

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May 18, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

As I’ve mentioned before, Dr. Lisa Blankenau’s 2012 presentation to the seminar for Nebraska’s judges is not only at odds with the science on children’s well-being post-divorce, it’s at odds with itself. Time and again, she recommends the marginalization of one parent in the lives of the children and, although she never uses the word, we all understand that, in the overwhelming majority of situations, that parent is Dad.

Indeed, Blankenau herself seems to have recommended as much by her affirmative citation of non-existent “studies” plumping for the “Approximation Rule,” according to which, parenting time post-divorce would reflect parenting time during marriage. As the ALI’s “Principles” on the matter make clear, parenting time is defined generally as what mothers tend to do, with what fathers tend to do specifically excluded from consideration. In short, the AR is a rule to further privilege mothers in parenting time decisions and, as Dr. Richard Warshak pointed out, understood to be such by those commenting on it.

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May 17, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Before I get further into the documents on judicial education produced by the Nebraska Court Administrator, I need to go back to something Dr. Lisa Blankenau said in her presentation to the judges in 2012.

Some studies suggest that custody arrangements should have a similar ratio of parental time with the children as they had before the divorce.

I quoted that in my first piece on the document production and criticized it because, whatever the parenting time ratio pre-divorce, the child still likely attaches to both parents and it is that attachment that matters most to the child and its best interests.

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May 15, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

No sooner had I completed my review of Dr. Linda Nielsen’s latest paper on parental conflict and parenting time in child custody cases than the Nebraska Court Administrator finally coughed up the documents reflecting how family judges are educated about custody and parenting time in that state. I haven’t yet completed reading the 168-page disclosure, but the first few pages are doozies.

Readers will recall that Nielsen reprised some of the research on how judges and custody evaluators are educated about conflict and parenting time. Much of what they learn is either biased or flat wrong.

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May 14, 2017 by Elizabeth J. Barton, PhD, Member, National Parents Organization National Board of Directors

It is spring, when we pause for a celebration of new life. I am a daughter, a stepdaughter, a mother, and a stepmother. On this beautiful day when we honor sacred role of the caring mother, I am so grateful for the hours and years of love and nurture I have had from my mother and from my stepmother. I am so thankful for the immeasurable joy that my children and stepchildren have brought to me.

I also pause to think about why there is such a vital need for National Parents Organization.

I think of the mothers who are faced with not having custody of their children. If you are a mother fighting for equal access to your children, remember that you must keep going for the sake of your kids. Unfortunately, there are no winners, only losers if the children end up deprived of you or of their father. Your children love both of their parents and they want you both in their lives.

I think of the divorced, separated, or estranged fathers who are remembering joyful Mothers' Days from the past. If you are a father in a custody dispute with the mother of your children, remember that despite the ugliness of the battle your are in, they need their mother and love her, as much as they love you.

I think of the stepmothers, like me. Our love and care are honored today, too. Stepchildren appreciate both their mother and us, at the same time. The most important thing I have learned from my journey as a stepmother is that children have room in their hearts for all of the loving, caring, and attentive grown ups in their lives.

I think of the parents, siblings, families, and friends of people who are fighting for the right to be a part of their children's lives; you are doing wonderful things by supporting your friends. Remember the important goal of this fight: for the children to have both of their parents and every bit of the love and security they need.

I think of a time when society and family courts will all fully support shared parenting, when everyone will realize how mothers and fathers are wonderfully complementary and equal.

As we celebrate motherhood, join me in doing the vitally important work of National Parents Organization: to make sure that children have the chance for both of their parents to have meaningful roles in their lives. They need it more so much more than they can say.

Happy Mothers Day from National Parents Organization.

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May 12, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Like a jungle explorer, Dr. Linda Nielsen continues to slash her way through the conflict-based arguments against shared parenting. By now, she’s cut quite a swath, but is nowhere near to being finished.

Yesterday, I reported that her paper on conflict and joint physical custody (JPC) showed existing science finding that, post-divorce, there was no significant difference between conflict levels for JPC couples versus sole physical custody (SPC) couples. So, contrary to the claims of those who would stand between kids and their fathers, JPC cannot be said to result in greater conflict after the divorce orders have been signed.

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May 11, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Having disposed of the few papers that either claim that joint parental custody should not be ordered in cases of parental conflict or had the claim inaccurately attributed to them, Dr. Linda Nielsen moves on to the core of the matter – reviewing the existing literature on what role, if any, the existence of parental conflict should play in judges’ decisions on child custody and parenting time.

First however, she points out that the literature she’s just debunked has had a powerful impact on judicial thinking and training. It’s at the root of much of the anti-father bias that’s daily evident in family court cases.

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May 10, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Perhaps the sharpest sticking point in the research on shared parenting is that of parental conflict. Those opposed to children maintaining meaningful parenting time with their fathers post-divorce have, in the absence of any other reason/excuse, seized on the notion of parental conflict to deny children access to one parent, typically Dad. So it’s of considerable importance to assess the science on parental conflict following divorce or separation and child well-being.

The estimable Dr. Linda Nielsen has done just that in Volume 23, No. 2 of the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law just published by the American Psychological Association. Because it addresses one of the lynchpins of public policy relating to child custody and parenting time Nielsen’s article is of the utmost importance. It should be required reading for judges, lawyers and mental health professionals practicing in family courts.

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May 8, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Despite the dogged efforts of the Nebraska Court Administrator, we will soon know how that state’s family court judges are trained regarding child custody and parenting time issues. We will know who has been asked to train those judges and the content of that training. The state’s highest court has ruled that those materials are subject to the Public Records Act and must be disclosed to the public.

For some years now I’ve been inveighing against the secrecy that shrouds the training of judges in child custody matters. It has always seemed clear to me that those judges don’t know the basics of children’s well-being as it’s affected by the custody and parenting time orders they make. Put simply, they say they’re acting in the children’s best interests, but they don’t know what promotes it. If those judges were truly acting in the interests of the children of the litigants in their courts, they’d order shared parenting a lot more often than they do. Indeed, it would be the default order in just about every court.

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May 7, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Last time I pointed out the knee-bending irony of feminist Leah McLaren’s decision to make a little girl out of her three-year-old son. Fortunately the child has yet to go under the knife, but McLaren is doing all she can to indoctrinate him into the supposed ways of little girls. Being the radical feminist that she is, she’s doing that because she doesn’t want the child to grow up to be a man (or at least what McLaren and her ilk believe men to be), because, you know, Men Bad, Women Good.

The irony of course comes into play when McLaren, like so many radical feminists, tries to at once assume that her son is the way he is because of his sex and that, with a few well-chosen interventions (ballet classes, a garland of dandelions) she can make him, well, something else. According to her mushy thinking, he’s biologically determined up until Mommy’s influence takes over.

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May 5, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Should a mother with a three-year-old son who clearly despises men, boys and masculinity and is therefore trying to turn her boy into a girl be allowed to retain custody of him? Is what Canadian journalist Leah McLaren doing to her son child abuse (Daily Wire, 5/1/17)? If so, is it sufficiently bad for the local Children’s Aid Society to step in? Does McLaren need parenting classes or does she need to be removed from her son’s life, at least temporarily?

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May 5, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Light overcomes darkness, the Forces of Good defeat the forces of evil. Well, sometimes. And this is one of those times. On April 23, I asked everyone to sign a petition informing Maine Governor Paul LePage of the serious defects in the candidacy for District Attorney of four counties of Paul Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh has the deserved reputation of a prosecutor who, like his fellow traveler, Mary Kellett, has never seen a sexual abuse allegation he didn’t find meritorious enough to charge a man with and take to trial. Legion are those allegations that clearly should never have become formal charges, much less been pursued before a jury. Cavanaugh is one of those prosecutors for whom the canons of ethics seem to be more a vague suggestion than rules of conduct.

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May 4, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This must be a first (Heat Street, 5/17).

A German trial court has ruled that a woman is not entitled to child support from a man with whom she had a four-night stand seven years ago. Although the Heat Street article doesn’t mention any of the European charter agreements, I suspect the Convention on Human Rights is the source of the ruling.

It seems the woman went to Halle in northern Germany and had a fling with a male escort who gave his name as Michael. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Now, seven years later, she decided she wants child support from the unknown father.

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May 3, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

I must confess that I have little sympathy for this man (News.com.au., 5/3/17). As an advocate for family court reform, I know I’m supposed to, but the facts add up to one simple thing – he didn’t take responsibility for the possible consequences of his own actions. Do I have no sympathy for him? No. His story plainly highlights some of the manifold and great faults of the Australian child support system. But the simple fact is that, if he’d done one simple thing – wear a condom – he likely wouldn’t be in the mess he’s in. That doesn’t make a bad situation good; it doesn’t make a senseless system sensible or an unjust one just.

But the stupidity, injustice and misandry of the child support system don’t absolve the man in the article or any other man of taking reasonable, cheap and easy precautions for his own well-being.

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May 1, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

It’s funny what gets the attention of the mainstream news media and what doesn’t. Here’s one obvious example (CNN, 4/28/17). It’s about a phenomenon that, if it exists at all, is so rare as to be almost unheard of everywhere except in some unspecified “dark corners of the internet.” And yet, it gets a rather lengthy article in CNN.

The “it” I refer to is something called “stealthing,” in which a man sabotages a condom in order to impregnate his partner who has made it clear she only consents to sex if the two are using a condom as contraception. Sound common? It’s not. Indeed, the article admits that no one has any idea of the frequency of the practice, if it is one.

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April 30, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

‘Tis the season for altering state laws to reform the doings of family courts. State legislatures are in session and, across the country, existing family laws are under siege. And well they might be. This case gives a good look at one statute and one absence of a statute that scream for amendment.

Donald and Margaret Robinson were married in 1993 and divorced in 2014. They had one set of triplets and another younger child, all of whom were teenagers at the time of the court proceedings detailed by the court of appeals.

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