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Shared Parenting Showdown in New York



In a disappointing though not surprising vote, the New York Assembly Committee on Children & Families voted today to hold over A330, the New York Shared Parenting Bill. Four committee members voted in favor of the bill (see below), and the rest voted to hold, citing concerns about alleged technical issues or flaws in the bill.

This bill has been locked up in committee for 12 years. Jim Hays, president of Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, who sponsored the bill, told me that with the four "yes" votes and all the media attention, this is the closest they've ever come to getting it out of committee. He has asked me to tell you that it was the 8,000 calls, letters and faxes you generated which helped bring it this close, and to thank you.

These events show just how entrenched the interests we oppose are. After we launched the campaign in support of A330, the National Organization for Women and Stop Family Violence counterattacked, both launching action alerts and campaigns against the bill. Yet our numbers dwarfed theirs.

It's very hard to get publicity for bills that have not yet passed out of committee, yet a pitched battle over this bill was fought in the pages of the Albany Times Union, the liberal, pro-feminist newspaper in New York's capital. This included: a mismatched debate over the bill on the op-ed page (see Family law proposes to keep bonds strong by Mike McCormick and I and Joint custody bill not in child's interest by NOW's Marcia Pappas, 3/28/06);  a surprising endorsement of shared parenting by the Times Union in their editorial Custody challenges: It's time New York embraced the concept of shared parenting (4/11/06); two news articles; and a score of letters to the editor, including one from Pappas whining that the Times Union had dared to stop following the NOW party line on this issue.  

The Times Union was fair and allowed both sides to be heard, which is all I ever ask a newspaper to do. The battle quickly became very lopsided, with the feminists reduced to babbling "domestic violence, domestic violence" over and over again in trying to scare legislators away from voting for A330.

The Assemblymembers voting in favor of the bill were Ruben Diaz Jr., Karim Camara, Michael Benjamin and Vincent Ignizio. I suggest you send them an email thanking them for their support by clicking here.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

What the Bill Would Do

Today joint custody is rare in New York and sole custody for mothers is the norm. A330 would "require the court to award custody to both parents in the absence of allegations that shared parenting would be detrimental to the child." It would place the burden of proof that shared parenting would be detrimental where it should be--on the parent requesting sole custody.

The bill also establishes an order of preference for custody, the top preference being joint custody. If the court decides against joint custody, it must state its reasons.

How A330/Shared Parenting Helps Kids

Numerous studies show that shared parenting is what's best for kids. To cite one, Robert Bauserman, Ph.D, conducted a meta-analysis of 33 studies between 1982 to 1999 that examined 1,846 sole-custody and 814 joint-custody children. Bauserman found that "Children in joint custody arrangements had less behavior and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements."

Shared Parenting Debate in Albany Times Union
Family law proposes to keep bonds strong
By Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks
Joint custody bill not in child's interest
by NOW's Marcia Pappas

Over 8,000 Write, Call in Support of Shared Parenting Bill!



June 2006
'Shared parenting' seen as custody solution: Bills in New York would require courts to treat mom, dad equally
(Whistleblower magazine, 6/06)

May 19, 2006
Don't deny fathers chance to be good parents
(Albany Times Union, 5/19/06)

May 12, 2006
Many fathers' groups demeaning to women
(Albany Times Union, 5/12/06)

May 8, 2006
Continue support for shared parenting
(Albany Times Union, 5/8/06)

May 5, 2006
Remember shared parenting at election time
(Albany Times Union, 5/5/06)

April 30, 2006
Statistics make a case to support joint custody
(Albany Times Union, 4/30/06)

April 26, 2006
Editorial Cartoonist Blasts NY Assembly Committee for Opposing A330
(Albany Times Union, 4/27/06)

April 22, 2006
Parenting bill is in best interest of children
(Albany Times Union, 4/22/06)

April 26, 2006
Shared parenting proposal fails in committee
(Albany Times Union, 4/26/06)

 April 26, 2006
Custody rights bill for fathers dead in Assembly: Supporters say bill would balance system they say favors mothers 
(Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, 4/26/06)

 April 25, 2006
Shared parenting is the right move for all
(Albany Times Union, 4/25/06)

April 24, 2006
Legislate for children of divorced parents
(Albany Times Union, 4/24/06)

April 23, 2006
Lawmakers should enact shared parenting
(Albany Times Union
, 4/23/06)

April 21, 2006
Custody bill fight turns frightful
(Albany Times Union
, 4/21/06)

April 20, 2006
Shared parenting benefits the children

(Albany Times Union
, 4/20/06)

April 19, 2006
Joint custody mandate fails to safeguard child
(Albany Times Union, 4/19/06)

April 14, 2006
New York must act on shared parenting
(Albany Times Union, 4/14/06)

April 11, 2006
Custody challenges: It's time New York embraced the concept of shared parenting
(Albany Times Union, 4/11/06)

March 28, 2006
Point Counterpoint on A330 in
Albany Times Union:
Supporting the child by order of the court: Family law proposes to keep bonds strong by Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks, Joint custody bill not in child's interest by Marcia Pappas, president of the New York State Chapter of the National Organization for Women.
(Albany Times Union, 3/28/06)

March 22, 2006
Assembly bill amplifies rift over parents' rights: Shared custody legislation draws praise, heat from followers of divorce struggle
(Albany Times Union, 3/22/06)

March 21, 2006
Societal Shift in Role of Fathers
(FOX News, 3/21/06)

February 24, 2006
'Shared parenting' seen as custody solution: Bills in New York would require courts to treat mom, dad equally
(World Net Daily, 2/24/06)



Albany Times Union, 3/28/06



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