|F & F Unveils Ambitious 2011 Legislative Agenda
|December 20, 2010
|Fathers and Families Unveils Ambitious 2011 Legislative Agenda
In the wake of our numerous legislative victories of 2010, Fathers and Families will be introducing an ambitious, wide-ranging legislative package in early 2011. This crucial work costs money—please give to help support our successes by going to fathersandfamilies.org/give.
Our legislative work grows out of the needs of Fathers and Families members and supporters such as yourself. Fathers and Families’ legislative plans for 2011 include:
Combating Parenting Time Interference
When a noncustodial parent doesn’t comply with a child support order or a restraining order, he or she can be arrested. Yet custodial parents continually flout court orders regarding parenting time (a.k.a. “visitation”) with impunity. We plan on introducing a bill into the California legislature in February that would add a new family code to address this problem. more
Curbing Alimony Abuses
Family courts are rife with abuses and injustices in awarding alimony/spousal support and in dividing divorcing couples’ assets. Fathers and Families helped pass one alimony reform bill this year, and we plan to introduce a series of alimony and asset protection bills in several states in 2011.
This legislation includes: protecting high income earners who also own businesses from alimony “double dipping”; limiting court-required payout of assets in marriages of less than 10 years; setting caps on how much alimony courts can order obligors to pay and for how long; expanding the provisions of our successful SB 1482; and others. more
Combating False Accusations of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
Requiring a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Advisement
As prominent members of the Family Law Executive Committee of the State Bar of California have previously noted, restraining (a.k.a. “protective”) orders based on false claims of domestic violence are frequently used as custody maneuvers in divorces, and they are often very effective. Many fathers are hit with these orders by surprise, and receive little due process from the court system. more
Removing the Innocent from Child Abuse Registries
Accusations of child abuse are also often used as weapons in custody battles. Many of the accused are eventually found to be factually innocent or the claims against them are ruled unfounded. Incredibly, many states’ child abuse registries do not provide a process by which innocent people can be removed from the index. more
Making Child Support Fair
Interest on Arrearages
Child support obligors often fall behind on support due to employment problems or inflated imputed incomes, and when they fall behind, high interest rates can keep them in arrears for decades. more
Helping Those Trapped by the System Get Their Lives Back
Fathers and Families will be sponsoring legislation to expand the Compromise On Arrears Program (COAP) which allows obligors saddled with artificially-inflated arrearages owed to the state to settle those arrearages for an average of about 11 cents on the dollar. Moreover, we’re involved in designing and implementing cutting-edge solutions to solving arrearages owed to the custodial parent.
Battling Paternity Fraud
Protecting Minors from Paternity Fraud
In many states, minors are allowed and encouraged to sign paternity declarations without parental consent or legal counsel. more
Helping Defrauded Fathers Get Justice
Building on previous successes in this area, Fathers and Families plans on sponsoring legislation to make it easier for fathers trapped by false paternity judgments to get those judgments set aside.
Protecting Those Who Serve
Because of problems in the family court system, divorced or never-married military parents deployed overseas often face the possibility of losing their custodial arrangement and their relationship with their children. more
Combating Parental Alienation
Powerful, well-funded organizations such as the National Organization for Women and the Center for Judicial Excellence are waging a legislative campaign to drive recognition of Parental Alienation out of our family court system. The system is already too slow to recognize and prevent PAS—the NOW/CJE legislative offensive will make this problem far worse. In 2010 we helped defeat two NOW/CJE California bills (AB 612 and AB 2475), but these bills and similar ones will be re-introduced in February. Fathers and Families will be helping lead the fight against them.
Why Give to Fathers and Families?
For four decades our political opponents have employed fulltime staff inside state capitols to pass legislation and mold the family court system their way. By contrast, our side has been absent or manned by part-time volunteers. Given this huge imbalance of forces, it’s not surprising that our side often lost, just as any political or business entity without legislative representation inevitably loses. These losses are losses for our children.
Fathers and Families is changing this. We are the only family court reform organization committed to engaging in the political process on a professional level. Recent years have shown that the Fathers and Families model works. However, we can only go as far as our funding takes us—please give generously.
Legislative reform is like an electoral campaign—it costs money. We depend on you to fund us—please give via check or go to our secure site at fathersandfamilies.org/give to make your contribution today!
Together with you in the love of our children,
Glenn Sacks, MA
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder and Chair of the Board
P.S. If money is tight now, please consider making a small monthly gift by going to fathersandfamilies.org/give. We also accept PayPal.