November 12, 2013
By Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director, National Parents Organization

It appears David Schorr is going to have his parenting time diminished for refusing to be a Disneyland Dad.

His son, with gratitude to a court-appointed psychiatrist and Mom, has learned how to get his way, how to play his parents against each other, and that he is in charge.

On his Tuesday dinner night with his four-year old son, his son threw a tantrum to manipulate Dad into taking him to McDonald’s. Dad held firm and told his son that they would eat a healthy dinner at the neighborhood café, or not eat.

Schorr’s son taught him a lesson by refusing to eat. Mom and the family courts are using this incidence to trample Dad and diminish his parenting time. First by Mom taking their son to McDonald’s when he was returned to her. Second, by the court-appointed psychiatrist, Marilyn Schiller, deeming Schorr, “wholly incapable of taking care of his son.” With this, Schorr’s meager parenting time may be cut by the New York family courts.

Many a separated parent, especially fathers, would typically take the child wherever they desire. Why not? Schorr is limited to every Tuesday evening and two weekends per month. Why should he teach values? Enforce discipline? With so little time, isn’t it much more fun to be the parent who says yes? Yes, we can eat at McDonald’s. Yes, have more candy. Bedtime? Of course, not. I am the fun parent and we can stay up late.

Fathers receive mixed messages from society and the family courts. Fathers are criticized for not being good fathers when parents separate or divorce. Yet, New York and other states dole out meager visiting time and make believe it is parenting time. How can a father, or any parent, parent on a part-time basis?

National Parents Organization is working to make shared parenting the norm in every state. Our children need and want shared parenting, where both parents have equal standing raising their children and are equally engaged in their children’s lives after a separation or divorce. We recognize that preserving a strong bond between children and their parents is critically important to children’s emotional, mental, and physical health. We fight for all children regardless of whether or not their parents have ever been married; regardless of whether or not their parents fit the “traditional” model; regardless of whether or not their parents were once married and are unable to continue together.

David and Bari Yunis Schorr wed in 2007. A couple of years ago Bari filed for divorce. It has become a contentious divorce with multiple appeals. David Schorr is an attorney and employee-benefits consultant. Bari Yunis Schorr is a fashion firm executive for the Rue La La online shopping site. New York Family courts assigned Schiller to evaluate the couple and their child, according to the lawsuit that David has filed against Schiller in light of her recent evaluation.

The psychiatrist, Marilyn Schilling, is listed in the state’s roster of court approved professionals; and on the standard online lists: Wellness, Healthgrades, and Rate M.D. She fares poorly in all three online lists. We would quote the reviews, but we are a family publication.

National Parents Organization knows little about David or Bari or whether or not they are “good” parents. On the surface from the media reports it appears David was working to set boundaries and teach values to his son. Again, on the surface, it appears Mom took the opportunity to undermine Dad’s authority. Their case and many family law cases are under a microscope. How can any parent function under such scrutiny? Who can survive such daily second guessing of every decision made, of every interaction with your child?

For their son, National Parents Organization hopes David and Bari find a way to work together to parent. Family courts are not going to encourage this or enforce it. But, it is the right answer.

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