Boston Globe Supports Child-Centered Family Law Legislation
Massachusetts Bill Upholds Best Interests of Children
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, June 24, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ — National Parents Organization applauds the Boston Globe for supporting Massachusetts’ Child-Centered Family Law bill and urges legislators to support the best interests of children by following the Globe’s advice and passing H4107, that was previously known as both S834 and H1207.
In the June 20 Globe editorial “Repeat After Us: Pass these Worthy Bills,” the editorial board wrote, “Massachusetts’ child custody laws are outdated. The Child-Centered Family Law bill acknowledges a widely held belief that isn’t always reflected in court orders: Children benefit from spending significant time with both parents. The legislation would encourage family-court judges to grant parents shared custody, with a child spending at least one-third of the time with each parent.”
Dr. Ned Holstein, M.D., Founder and Board Chair of Boston-based National Parents Organization, said, “As the clock ticks on this legislative session, the most pressing need for the children of Massachusetts is passage of the Child-Centered Family Law. Thank you, Boston Globe editorial board, for rightly urging legislators to make the best interests of children a top priority. We’ve long known that children desperately want and need shared parenting after divorce, and Massachusetts is long overdue for aligning our family courts with the overwhelming amount of research in favor of shared parenting.”
Almost 50 bipartisan Massachusetts legislators serve as sponsors and co-sponsors of the proposal. The proposal was born out of recommendations from the 18 distinguished stakeholders former Gov. Patrick appointed to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child-Centered Family Law, including NPO’s Dr. Holstein.
Currently, Massachusetts courts award sole physical custody to one parent, not shared parenting, a great majority of the time after divorce. While shared parenting remains unusual nationwide, it is gaining momentum. For instance, within the past year, at least two states – Utah and Minnesota – joined the list of states with laws supportive of shared parenting. Plus, another nearly 20 states have considered similar laws, and shared parenting bills have passed the state legislature and traveled to the Governor’s desk in two states in recent months – a Florida proposal was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott, and reform in Missouri is awaiting the signature of Governor Jay Nixon.
“I can’t think of a more historic close to the end of the 2016 Massachusetts legislative session than for our state to enact the Child-Centered Family Law,” Dr. Holstein said. “It will vastly improve the lives of the smaller number of children whose parents insist on a custody battle, as well as the large number of children whose parents agree to negotiate, and who will be likely to agree on shared parenting knowing that this would be the likely outcome if they litigated instead.”
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization
A regular contributor to local and national media, Dr. Holstein is Founder and Chair of the Board of National Parents Organization. Dr. Holstein was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child Centered Family Law, and he was previously appointed by a Massachusetts Chief Justice to a task force charged with reviewing and revising the state’s child support guidelines.
A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Holstein also earned a Master’s degree in psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His medical degree is from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he serves on the faculty.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or separation. The organization is focused on promoting shared parenting and preserving a child’s strong bond with both parents, which is critically important to their emotional, mental, and physical health. In 2014, National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws. Visit the National Parents Organization website at www.nationalparentsorganization.org.
Nancy Rigdon, National Parents Organization