Archive for May, 2015

Brown vs. Board of Education for Non-Custodial Parents

It has been about 50 years since the above Supreme Court decision began to put the nail in the coffin for racially segregated education.  The Utah legislature might have just done the same for millions of children and non-custodial parents.  See the article and follow the many relevant links below:


May 20, 2015
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organization

On May 6, we reported on a new custody law in Utah that would give most “non-custodial” parents a minimum of 145 days of parenting time — about 40%. That law has now gone into effect. This law was passed because of the hard work and determination of the Utah chapter of National Parents Organization, led by Janet Robins, David Daniels and Dan Deuel.

National Parents Organization’s Public Relations and Education firm, Proventus Consulting, went to work to publicize the new law. The interest of the Utah media has been impressive. As of press time, the following media have run stories on the new law:

Anyone who wants to help the Utah leadership as they gear up to win the next battle is invited to contact Dan Deuel at


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Our Peculiar Institution

To follow up on the international theme of last week, I’m including the following link to family court issues in the UK:

The title this week refers to the euphemism many Southerners in the early 19th century used to refer to slavery. It was an indirect admission that slavery violated many parts of the US Constitution but was nevertheless “ours”.
Judges in family court today routinely violate the 1st, 4th and 14th amendments and thus we can say that it is the 21st century’s “peculiar institution.”
In my Twitter entry this week (@jskidsmc) I coined the expression “Density is destiny” in regard to last week’s Amtrak tragedy. What makes the US most “peculiar” in regard to other developed nations is our low population density. This, combined with our great love of mobility and weaker extended family ties, puts the US family court system in a unique category globally.
This is most clearly seen in judges allowing a custodial parent to move far away from the other parent. Here in California move-aways are subject to eight “La Musga” criteria but they are often ignored by judges.
My own case involved a 720 mile move. It was within California but the same distance as Chicago-Arkansas or New York-South Carolina. To put it in an international context, imagine a young child regularly boarding a plane in London to “visit” her other parent in Milan, Italy-about 720 miles away. Peculiar indeed!

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Day of the Child/Dia de los Ninos

A Mexican friend (and illustrator of my son & I’s chilldren’s book, Daniel the Robot Dinosaur), sent me the following article concerning a Latin American holiday which has no equivalent in the United States.

April 30 is the holiday in Mexico and it is celebrated in most major Central and South American nations on other dates. It has existed for decades and seems to have been the inspiration for UN’s “Declaration of Rights of the Child”, enacted in Switzerland in 1959.

As one might expect given what we face in family court, it states, “A child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother.” As one would also expect the word “father” is not to be found anywhere in the two full pages of the declaration.

April 30 is the official day to celebrate children in México. President Álvaro Obregón and Public Education Minister José Vasconcelos formally accepted the Children’s Rights Declaration in México on this day, which marked the beginning of “El Día del Niño” as a Mexican tradition.

México decided to add this holiday to the school calendar long before the UN got together in Switzerland on November 20, 1959. Representatives of all Nations got together to discuss children rights and voted this day to be Universal’s Children’s Day.

Here are 7 things you should know about “El Día del Niño” in México:

1) It is a national observance in México.

2) It has been celebrated in México since 1925.

3) Children do not get the day off from school.

4) Schools host special events inviting parents to celebrate with them during school hours. Some activities include: music festivals, face painting, story-telling, art workshops, and contests.

5) During this day, children are recognized as an important part of society so the day focuses on the importance of loving, accepting and appreciating children.

6) Some schools ask children to bring toys, candy or other presents, to make less fortunate children happy on this day. They also encourage them to donate to charity, such as orphanages.

7) Other Latin countries also have a special date to celebrate children:

Argentina – Second Sunday in August

Bolivia – April 12

Brasil – October 12

Chile – Second Sunday in August

Colombia – Last Saturday in April

Costa Rica – September 9

Cuba – Third Sunday in July

Ecuador – June 1

El Salvador – October 1

España – April 15

Guatemala – October 1

Honduras – September 10

Nicaragua – June 1

Paraguay – August 16

Panamá – Third Sunday in July

Perú – Third Sunday in August

Uruguay – Second Sunday in August

Venezuela – Third Sunday in July

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Lessons From Baltimore

The above article refers to Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the unrest in Baltimore in the past week.  The whole week harks back to Randy Newman’s “Little Criminals” album which featured his brilliant (both musically and lyrically) song “Baltimore” with the haunting line, “Ain’t it hard just to live, just to live.”

The main point made by Ms. Clinton, as well as by President Obama, Attorney General Holder and Senator Rand Paul, is that we have far too many young black men locked up for non-violent offenses.  This of course is part of the reason that over 70% of black children are born into homes without a father, which has been mentioned by the media as a prime reason that the rioting occurred.

What was never mentioned by any of the main media outlets is another important factor: fathers refusing to fight for custody because they fear that they wouldn’t get fair treatment in family court.  One reason that politicians in particular run from this topic is that many of them are generously funded by trial lawyers, who fervently oppose significant changes  to our adver-sarial family court system.  In this system men (and less well-connected women as well) lose 90% of contested custody cases.

One can only imagine the media uproar if 90% of  blacks, but only 10% of whites, were convicted in murder cases

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