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(USA) Shared Parenting 20/20 26 Feb 2010 - Comment, Participation Requests, Legislative Updates

It is those who benefit financially from the present system who always tend to be against legislation that would give children full access to both their parents.

American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC)

Shared Parenting - Children Need Both Parents

News and Items of Interest, Shared Parenting Updates, Action Requests

ABC's 20/20 tomorow night. (Friday, 2/26/2010)

News program 20/20 will be featuring the story of Joseph Reyes tomorrow night. Reyes, an Afghan war veteran,is the Chicago father who defied a judge's order barring him from taking his daughter to church on his weekends. This story has gained national attention and points directly to the need for family law reform.

Joseph has been a long time supporter and member of ACFC, we are carrying an exclusive interview with him in the next edition of our print newspaper "The Liberator." Details unreportedby any other outlet are part of the 'Liberator' feature. When I spoke with Joseph a couple of weeks ago he said he's taking this action first and foremost for his daughter. He also thinks it's time the world sees how the courts kick around good dads.

The Liberator is ACFC's 16 page quarterly print publication which is mailed to our members andevery legislator at the state and federal level. If you are not receiving 'The Liberator,' you can byclicking here and becoming a member of ACFC. Your membership includes a one year subscription to the paper. You don'twant to miss this edition.

The judge who issued the restraining order in this case is Edward Jordan. Last year he testified before the Illinois Family Law Study Committee. I was appointed as your representative to this committee several years ago by Illinois House Majority Leader Michael Madigan. At the hearing I asked Judge Jordan his opinion of Shared Parenting. His response: "Shared Parenting? I believe there's a Latin term for that; IT SUCKS." He had several other comments but that one took the cake. Unfortunately Judge Jordan did not attend the morning session which included several hours of testimony by child development experts indicating children do best with full and unfettered access to both parents.

Late last summer ACFC was involved in the exact same type of case with member and supporter Richard Franco. We submitted a brief on the questions involved to the Arizona Supreme Court which refused to hear the case and left intact an appellate court ruling stating it is OK for judge's to interfere in the private matter of a child's religious upbringing.

Watch Joseph's story tomorrow night on ABC, then go online and comment. Let the producers know you want to see more of these stories of judicial overreach. 20/20 airs on ABC affiliates around the nation on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. Central time zone may be different.

It's getting hot in the State Houses for Equally Shared Parenting, Your participation is needed.


HB2916 a straightforward bill of few words which calls for equal parenting if the parents cannot come to their own parenting agreement. This bill has the legislature and special interests on fire. The first hearing was Tuesday. You can watch it here. Another round of testimony on the bill is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 2. If you are within 100 miles of Nashville Tennessee you need to do whatever it takes and get to the statehouse to show your support for this bill. I believe the hearings begin around 1:00 p.m.

Fierce opposition is coming from the usual suspects; the bar association, the domestic violence groups, the Tennessee Women's Caucus and the National Association of Social Workers. Isn't it amazing how those who benefit financially from the present system always tend to be against legislation that would give children full access to both their parents. Anyway, make plans to be there, we need a good turnout to offset all the attendees from the opposition who will be paid with your tax dollars to be there and argue that your children are better off growing up without one of their parents.


Last Thursday, February 18th, the legislature heard testimony for and against HB500, a bill concerning child support. At its core this bill was going to raise child support guidelines an average of 30%. For some at the lowest income levels child support guideline amounts would have dropped a bit. Over 75% of obligors however would have seen increases. We believe there was enough opposition to this bill to defeat the legislation, however the vote has not yet been taken. I testified in opposition as did David Levy, past President and Chairman of the Children's Rights Council. A number of Maryland's citizens also responded to our call and turned out to testify in opposition to the bill. When we act together we can make a difference.


This coming Thursday, March 4, 2009 the House Judiciary Committee will be taking testimony on HB925, a bill which presumes the best interest of the child is realized when the child spends approximately equal time with both parents. The bill was introduced by Representative Jill Carter an African American woman who formerly worked in the public defender's office and became outraged by the inequity she routinely saw in the family courts.

You need to be there and tell your story to the legislators. Particularly needed are minorities, women, parents, grandparents and the adult children who were impacted by the courts through their parent's divorce and want the system changed now. You must sign in to testify. The judiciary hearing room is in the house legislative building, room 100. Address is 6 Bladen St. Annapolis, Md.

Pennsylvania Update

Pennsylvania legislators heard testimony on a presumptive joint custody bill this past February 4th. Again, as usual, the opposition consisted of; the bar, the domestic violence lobbyists, etc, etc. Our groups had great testimony grounded in solid social science research while the opposition continued to use ms.-information and emotion to argue against legislation which would benefit vast numbers of Pennsylvania children and parents. We hope to bring you a webcast of this testimony in the not too distant future. Kudos to Jeff Dick, Thomas Tessaro and many others for their work on this one.


Award winning film producer Janks Morton is producing a new documentary on the issues men face in the courts with an anticipated release date shortly before Fathers Day. Jank's previous work includes "What Black Men Think." Take a look at the trailer for his new film "Guilty Until Proven Innocent." I think he's onto something here…what do you think? Drop us a note and give us your impressions of the trailer.

Everything you've read about in this news-packed letter represents the work of dedicated individuals and groups. ACFC has helped these efforts along in numerous ways. We testified in the hearings, helped with bill language and supplied varying degrees of support, all with the intention of moving forward shared parenting and the family law reform agenda. If we wrote about everything going on around the nation we could write another 10,000 words. At this point however we need to ask you to help us. Everything we do is done on a shoestring. We know the economy is not good and while we'd prefer not to have to ask, we are asking you to please make a donation to keep these efforts going. We appreciate all you do and thank you for your support.

More news soon.


Michael McCormick, Exec. Dir.

P.S. You may recall our win in New York last December defeating implementation of a public domestic violence offender registry, the legislature attempted to override the veto and could not muster the votes to do so, therefore the win stands. Together we get things done.

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ACFC Washington Office 1718 M St. NW. #187 Washington, DC 20036
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Positional protectionism

I would have presumed that was a no brainer.

How has the system been getting away with it for so long ?
HIGHLY recommend watching some of the video links provided !! Compelling watching. Of particular note this one

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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