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

Last winter I posted three pieces here, here and here on the outrageous usurpation of parliamentary authority by the British family court judiciary.  It did so in the persons of Sir James Munby and Mr. Justice Cobb who issued substituted “Practice Direction 12 J” that all but demands that courts limit fathers’ access to their children at the very mention of domestic violence by the mother. 

In those posts, I detailed much of what was wrong with PD12J.  Most importantly, it’s based on a claim by the virulently misandric organization, Women’s Aid, that fathers in the U.K. had killed 19 children over the course of a decade.  I pointed out that mothers killed far more children than fathers and that, tragic as those 2-per-year slayings were for those involved, that number is simply too small to warrant a change of policy.  About one million children were involved in their parents’ divorce over the course of those 10 years.

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September 24, 2017 by Mike McManus 

A Shared Parenting Act was introduced by Rep. Jim Runestad in the Michigan Legislature that would give divorced fathers shared custody and equal parenting time with their children as mothers.

“Divorced fathers are devalued, disparaged and forcefully disengaged from their children’s lives,’ asserts Dr. Edward Kruk, who leads Co-Parenting After Divorce. “Researchers have found that for children, the results are nothing short of disastrous.” Some 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless and 85% of youth in prison have an absent father.

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Now is the time for action! Make your voice heard!

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

Ohio Representative Sarah LaTourette (R, District 26), has just put out a co-sponsor request form to her colleagues in the Ohio House of Representatives for the NPO-sponsored bill to create a presumption of equal shared parenting during temporary orders. Passage of this bill will be an important step toward the promotion of equal shared parenting in Ohio.

We need to have as many Ohio representatives as possible sign on as co-sponsors. I'm delighted to report that, within a half hour of Representative LaTourette putting out the call for co-sponsors, Three Ohio representatives contacted Representative LaTourette's office to ask to sign on as co-sponsors. These legislators are: Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R, District 3), whose law practice deals with these sorts of cases, Rep. Jim Butler (R, District 41), and Rep. Jeffrey Rezabek (R, District 43). 

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

I’ve written a fair amount about how, despite the hectoring of gender feminists for almost five decades now, men and women still tend to take on roles within male/female relationships that have a distinctly traditional tint to them. When little Andy or Jenny comes into the world, Mom tends to decrease her paid work to do childcare and Dad tends to up his hours to compensate. That goes some way to explain not only women’s lower earnings, but also their lower savings rates, slower advancement in the workplace, etc.

The data on that and a wide variety of studies bear out my conclusions. This analysis of similar information out of Canada and its statistical agency, Statistics Canada, shows much the same thing. Indeed, a simple review of many of the section headings tells the story.

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September 20, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Canada’s statistics-gathering agency, imaginatively named Statistics Canada, released a lot of data last week and various commentators are beginning to, well, comment. Such is this article that gets a lot right (Financial Times, 9/19/17). Any piece that includes the following message can’t be all bad.

You want to raise your kid’s chances of being poor? Get divorced.

It should come as no surprise that, in Canada as throughout the English-speaking world, single-parenthood and poverty go hand in hand. That of course means kids of single parents are much more likely than kids in two-parent families to live in poverty. Among other things, it’s worth remembering that public policy, in a variety of ways, promotes exactly that. You read that right; public policy promotes divorce which promotes child poverty. No one in government will ever admit such a thing, but facts don’t lie.

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BY ROBERT HAYDEN

Sundays too my father got up early 
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 
then with cracked hands that ached 
from labor in the weekday weather made 
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. 

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. 
When the rooms were warm, he’d call, 
and slowly I would rise and dress, 
fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, 
who had driven out the cold 
and polished my good shoes as well. 
What did I know, what did I know 
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

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

Our good friend Malin Bergstrom of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute at Uppsala University is set to publish another study finding that children in shared parenting arrangements have better outcomes than those in sole or primary care and, from parents’ perspectives, kids’ outcomes in shared care are indistinguishable from those in intact families. Here’s a brief article on her new work (Daily Mail, 9/5/17).

Bergstrom’s study looked at “emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity or inattention and peer-relationship problems.” It did so by dividing up almost 3700 children into those in sole parent homes, intact families and homes with shared parenting. Researchers then asked parents and teachers to fill out questionnaires on various behavioral issues of the kids.

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

Continuing with Melanie Notkin’s awful and misandric screed in the New York Post (New York Post, 5/13/17).  Having called men “perpetual adolescents,” she goes on to wonder why they, like women, are delaying marriage and having children. 

I suppose it’s too much to ask Notkin to think about why men might be doing that, why they say they place less emphasis on career than did their predecessors or why they’re more ambivalent about male-female relationships than are women.  Needless to say, as with all gender feminists, Notkin’s ideas about men and women include essentially nothing about men as human beings with genuine needs of their own.  No, for her, men are entirely judged by what they do or don’t do for women.

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

I recently was forced to take two blog posts to respond to an article out of New Zealand. It was so badly done that I couldn’t outline all its deficits in a single one. Well, here’s another (New York Post, 5/13/17).

It’s by Melanie Notkin whose thesis is that women are waiting later to marry and have children and, of course, men are to blame for their doing so. Oh and, into the bargain, men are “perpetual adolescents.” As with so many gender feminist screeds, Notkin’s positively gushes logical fallacies and misuse of data. It’s all there, including “examples” that aren’t examples, a sense of victimization, not only by those awful men, but by the U.S. Census Bureau (really!) and by unnamed “others.” And let’s not forget elision of the difference between what people say and what they do. And finally there’s Notkin’s paean to that old feminist chestnut “single mothers by choice.” Yes, after all the information we have about the importance of two parents in a child’s life, Notkin’s all in favor or women having children without one.

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September 14, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This excellent article adds to our information about racial disparities in marriage and cohabitation rates. It appears that the black community may be stuck in a holding pattern in which children are born to single mothers, have little contact with their biological fathers and suffer the panoply of deficits associated with fatherlessness. Girls are then more likely to become pregnant as teenagers and boys more likely to be poorly educated and un/underemployed rendering them poor candidates for marriage. Unmarriageable males mean more children born to unmarried mothers. And the cycle continues.

That seems to be the case, and how it gets changed, I don’t know. The linked-to article offers nothing to encourage me to think it will change any time soon.

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September 13, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The situation at Oregon’s Department of Human Services isn’t improving.  This fine article details the latest string of child abuse overseen by the department and the civil suits that are resulting in huge payouts from taxpayers to abused kids (Oregon Live, 9/3/17).

The latest is a $7 million settlement with two children who were taken from their mother, apparently without any analysis of whether their father would be an appropriate placement for them.  They were placed with foster parents, John and Danielle Yates, who proceeded to starve them over a period of 2 ½ years to a point at which they will never recover.  The pair were one and two years old when they were placed in foster care.  They were finally removed when they were four and five.  They weighed the same then – 27 and 30 pounds - as they had when they were originally placed with the Yateses.

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

This post continues from yesterday’s dealing with this article out of New Zealand (Newsroom, 9/8/17).

The piece highlights two cases in which a child is taken from a parent by police officers who are acting on orders from a family court. In New Zealand, those are called “uplifts.” The case I dealt with yesterday involved a mother and her five-year-old daughter; today’s involves a father and his 14-year-old son.

In both cases, the authors, Melanie Reid and Cass Mason, emphasize the emotional upset on the part of children forced from their homes by uniformed police. What they barely allude to, indeed what they describe in only the vaguest terms, is what the parents did to encourage the court to order the “uplift” of the kids. Reading the article one could easily conclude that, really, nothing amiss had happened and that, for some unknowable reason, the judges simply decided to cause trauma to the children.

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

This article is so bad it’s going to take me two posts to deal with it (Newsroom, 9/8/17). It’s yet another one from New Zealand and, like so many from there, lacks the most basic information about its chosen topic. In a nutshell, it seems to be saying that, when children don’t want to abide by a court order requiring them to spend time with Parent A, the court that issued the order should refuse to enforce it and allow the child’s choice to carry the day. What planet writers Melanie Reid and Cass Mason inhabit I can’t guess, but their article is deeply deficient in some fundamental concepts applicable to that topic.

The piece deals with two cases, so I’ll discuss the first one first and the second tomorrow.

Police show up unannounced, during the night, at the home of a 5-year-old girl’s mother. They have a warrant, issued by a Family Court judge, for the removal of the child, by force if necessary - and it is clear the police are not leaving without her.

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

Hard on the heels of yesterday’s post about feminist Jai Breitnauer trying, and generally failing, to understand the struggle most people go through in establishing a sensible work-life balance, comes this (Daily Mail, 9/5/17). Lacking any reference to statistics on the matter, she was happy to believe that, if men would just do more childcare and domestic work, all would be well in the garden. As I detailed, that is wrong on a number of levels.

The Daily Mail piece is very much the flip side of Breitnauer’s. It reports that, in the U.K. at least, the millennial generation is turning toward the traditional far more than did their parents.

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

It’s hard to criticize an article that includes this sentence (The Spinoff, 9/5/17):

Enabling shared care of children by both parents should be a priority for the new government, but it requires big legislative, industry and social change otherwise for many, it’s simply not an option.

Yes, New Zealander Jai Breitnauer favors shared parenting and when she says “shared,” she may just mean 50/50. Or she may not. Whatever the case, Breitnauer not only supports shared parenting and the many changes needed to bring it about, but understands the value of fathers to children. For example, she recently attended a conference at which three men presented information on that exact topic.

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September 6, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Here again is the excellent Shawna Thompson (Lincoln Journal Star, 8/31/17). This time her article is on false allegations of sexual abuse both in family courts and elsewhere. Her theme is that those allegations have become so numerous and so transparently aimed at achieving some immoral or even criminal end that “judges, juries and prosecutors are losing patience with” false accusers. I can only hope she’s right. For myself, I read enough about cases, particularly in family courts, that I believe, based solely on that anecdotal evidence, she probably is. Time and again I see courts looking askance at claims of DV or sexual assault and drawing the correct conclusions.

Beyond that though, Thompson’s article is simply a litany of recent cases in which judges and juries have “thrown the book” at false accusers. Of course, she doesn’t have the space to list them all, but she hits the high spots, many of which are internationally known. The infamous Rolling Stone fraud is there as is the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case in Minnesota (although not by name). The welter of cases coming out of colleges and universities that are beginning to cost those institutions sizeable amounts of money in civil court judgments are alluded to as well. Given that her piece only touches on recent cases and only a fraction of those, it’s a pretty impressive list.

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

Meanwhile in New Zealand, this article tells the story of one father’s experience with family courts (Stuff, 9/2/17). It’s only what we’d expect.

(As an irrelevant aside, I must say that I am now the only person on the planet who knows the difference between the verb “to lie” and the verb “to lay.” The only one. When I die, this knowledge dies with me. Be advised. I say this because the linked-to article gets it wrong every time.)

The house is horribly silent and everywhere he looks he sees his children.

Crumbs lay on the kitchen table where his eldest enjoyed a biscuit. A child's painting, hanging proudly on the fridge, is tugged at gently by a breeze coming in the window.

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

Father’s Day is coming up in Australia and with it an unusually strange set of anti-father messages. Here in the U.S., overt hatred of fathers is at low ebb. From one day to the next, including Father’s Day, the general discourse on fathers has changed a lot over the past, say, decade. Much as I hesitate to suggest it, it’s almost as if people, including creators of pop culture, have actually gotten the message that fathers are vital to children’s well-being and that we’re all better off with dads actively involved in their children’s lives.

Australia? Not so much.

First out of the gate is a sort of public service announcement by the non-profit organization, Dads4Kids, extolling the virtues of fathers. The entire video consists of, first, a crying baby, and then its father’s voice singing the lullaby “Hush little baby, don’t you cry, daddy’s gonna sing you a lullaby…” And the baby quiets down. Then there are short clips of fathers playing with their joyful children. That’s it, a nice gentle portrayal of fathers’ love.

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

It’s another paternity fraud case and this one has the potential to bring the problem to a larger audience (New Zealand Herald, 8/23/17). That’s because the actual father of the child may be John Banks, former member of New Zealand’s Parliament and two-time Mayor of Auckland, the country’s largest city.

But it won’t, or such is my prediction. It won’t bring home the importance of paternity fraud because the press is too enthralled with Banks’s despicable behavior and status as a public figure. My guess is that the salacious aspects of the story will drown out the real public policy issues. That’s certainly the case in the linked-to article.

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August 31, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

A first-ever study of its kind shows that children in sole custody experience greater stress than do those in shared custody (Eurekalert, 8//17). The Swedish researcher who conducted the study, Jani Turunen, explained his findings this:

The explanation may be that children, who spend most of the time away from one parent, lose resources like relatives, friends and money. Previous research has also shown that children may worry about the parent they rarely meet, which can make them more stressed, says Jani Turunen, researcher in Demography at Stockholm University and Centre for research on child and adolescent mental health at Karlstad University.

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

It’s not a new case, but, in view of tomorrow’s post, a relevant one.

The State of California held a non-father responsible for supporting a child who’s not his and whom the mother appears to have known wasn’t his. The clown act that led to the ruling is enough to force the conclusion that states should (a) test each child for paternity immediately after birth and (b) require each woman giving birth to identify the correct father of her child. As to (b), if more than one man is potentially the father, she should be required to name each possible father.

In the case in question, back in 1992, Taron James and Tami Burton had a brief affair. A member of the U.S, Navy, James was soon deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of the Gulf War. Burton gave birth to a child and named James as the father on the birth certificate.

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

Regular readers of this blog know that I try to avoid the invariably tawdry and almost never enlightening divorces and divers spats of celebrities. Those people by definition get too much attention as it is and, since they’re neither smarter nor more observant than the rest of us, don’t merit a still brighter spotlight.

But there are exceptions. I wrote a fair amount about the Kelly Rutherford/Daniel Giersch custody case because it provided a lesson in the bias and incompetence of the press that reports on celebrity divorce. In that case, a California judge wrote a long and fact-filled order that anyone could read any time. It demonstrated beyond doubt that Rutherford had attempted to remove Giersch from their children’s lives and gone to extreme lengths to do so. Those included attempting to have him deported on specious grounds so as to entirely block his access to the children.

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August 27, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The science on the importance of fathers to children is growing (Institute for Family Studies, 8/22/17). To date, most of that has been in the areas of sociology and psychology where emotional well-being and demographic phenomena are recorded and associated with father absence or presence. So we’ve known for years that various destructive behaviors are highly correlated with father absence. But scientists are now delving into the biochemistry of father absence and, unsurprisingly, it appears to back up the behavioral findings.

I’ve written many times about the best dataset yet for studying various phenomena associated with families and family breakdown, the Fragile Families and Child Well-being study conducted by Sara MacLanahan and Irwin Garfinkle among others. It’s a longitudinal study of 5,000 families in which kids are born to unmarried parents or those otherwise considered at risk for family breakdown. Those parents and their kids have been studied every few years since 1998, and literally hundreds of papers have been produced using the Fragile Families data.

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

Here’s a piece on daycare (Herald Scotland, 8/23/17). Its author, Shona Craven writes as if she’s dead certain about every assertion she makes despite the fact that they often contradict each other. Plus, she clearly believes that parents are wrong for calculating the costs of daycare before deciding to use it or not. More importantly, despite her topic being daycare, she apparently knows none of the pertinent science on it.

Craven seems to have been spurred to write by a Bank of Scotland analysis of childcare costs and the decision by the Scottish government to exempt daycare facilities from business taxes. She seems offended by the fact that daycare is a business with costs that families need to consider in deciding how much paid work to do and how much at-home-with-Junior time to spend.

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