The founder of the National Parents Organization has told RT that special interests in the law industry are blocking reforms that would give fathers more rights to see their children following divorce.
There are over one million divorces every year in the United States. The system for dealing with family break-ups was introduced by President Gerald Ford in 1975. It was designed to punish men who did not want to be responsible for their children, not fathers who wanted to play an active role in their child’s life.
Courts rule in favour of mothers in five out of every six custodial hearings. Statistics also show that custodial mothers are nearly twice as likely to live in poverty as custodial fathers.
Dr. Ned Holstein, the founder of the National Parents Organization, which promotes shared parenting legislation, argues that the legal establishment is preventing reform.
“This is a classic case of special interests versus what the public generally believes,” he said to Manila Chan of RT America.
The organization has polled shared parenting, or joint physical custody, in a number of states using professional survey methods, and has found that the general public overwhelmingly supports the approach.
“The results are typically 70-80 percent approval,” Dr. Holstein said. “Politically, that should be a landslide but in fact there are special interests that are standing in the way of that.”
“We do have special interests who are blocking the reforms that are necessary for the well-being of our children,” Holstein said.
“A judge is simply somebody who used to be a lawyer and now they’re wearing a black robe and they were taught in law school that children need one home and one decision maker, and it turns out that that is just plain wrong. They need the continued love and relationship and guidance of both of those parents.”
Family law attorney Steve Goldman explained that the system has a lot of flaws because it pits parents against each other. He explained that parties have to either show that they are a really good parent or show that the other person is a really bad person.
Goldman argues that it’s in the best interest of all to stay out of court. “Parents are in a much better situation when they remove themselves from that court system, because then they get to work on their own schedule, talk about what’s really important to them and the children without having to impress upon a judge to make a snap decision in their favor during that trial.”
The documentary also featured fathers who have had their ability to see their kids restricted or withdrawn, including Jared, who spoke of how he has been hit with a legal case for failing to pay $ 10,000 in child support more than 10 years after his daughter was killed by his ex-wife’s boyfriend.
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