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Family Court Reform and Parental Rights

Messages Sent So Far
Our family courts are expected to operate in the ?best interest of the children" in cases brought before family court judges.

?But it is not traditionally the sole criterion-much less the sole constitutional criterion... ?The best interests of the child? is not the legal standard that governs parents' or guardians' exercise of their custody: So long as certain minimum requirements of child care are met, the interests of the child may be subordinated to the interests of other children, or indeed even to the interests of the parents or guardians themselves.? -- Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993)

Millions of Americans who have been through a contested divorce or custody proceeding in the family court systems across the US are acutely aware that injustice is served at the whims of the attorneys and other "profiteers" of the family court system. Unfair custody and parenting time, lifetime alimony, child support calculations based on income rather than actual need, paternity fraud, parental alienation, false allegations with no repercussions, complex legal processes and rules, and numerous other issues not only violate the Constitutional and civil rights of the unfortunate litigants, but serve to contribute to the further denigration of families and leave parents and children emotionally, spiritually and financially damaged for many years into the future.

The US Supreme Court has gone so far as to assert:

?We have little doubt that the Due Process Clause would be offended ?if a State were to attempt to force the breakup of a natural family, over the objections of the parents and their children, without some showing of unfitness and for the sole reason that to do so was thought to be in the children's best interest.?? -- Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246 (1978)

?More important, historically it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children.? -- Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)

Furthermore, experts in child development agree that in the absence of substantiated abuse, shared parenting is better for children:

"There is a consensus that neither the discretionary best interests of the child standard nor sole custody or primary residence orders are serving the needs of children and families of divorce. There is a consensus that shared parenting is a viable post-divorce parenting arrangement that is optimal to child development and well-being, including for children of high conflict parents." -- Edward Kruk, Ph.D., First International Conference on Shared Parenting, May 2014

Yet every day in courtrooms across the US, the rights of parents and children are violated by unconstitutional orders and unfair judgments due to unnecessarily complex and costly adversarial processes that make divorce not only more difficult than necessary, but also create long term financial and emotional impacts on parents, children, and society as a whole.

The divorce process and the accompanying pain and suffering that many families endure is something we don't often like to talk about and taking a stoic and dismissive attitude toward those who feel slighted in the process is perpetuated by a society that fails to recognize the long term and sometimes life-long impact of the dissolution of a family unit. Even less talked about is the role that some attorneys, legislators and other agents of the court take in perpetuating these problems, sometimes unknowingly, but often purposefully to increase their own personal profits or organizational revenue.

These policies and practices are not only unethical, but violate the very oaths taken by attorneys, legislators and other agents of the court to uphold the Constitutional rights of those they are hired to serve. Fortunately however, there are protections built into our system that if invoked will better protect the rights of parents and families of divorce. We The People call upon Congress to take action to reform family courts across the US by investigating and addressing the following issues:

1. Conduct an investigation into the policies and practices conducted in the family courts across the US and by the American BAR Association. Individuals found to be in violation of their oaths of service shall be reprimanded or removed and recommendations shall be made for long term reform. Of particular concern are abuse of judicial discretion, failure to provide equal protection and due process, failure to adjudicate cases in a timely manner, and failure to uphold Constitutional rights of parents to determine what is in the best interest of their own children.

2. Conduct an investigation into child custody laws, practices, and long term impacts. Provide recommendations for updates to state law that are consistent with Supreme Court rulings that uphold the rights of each parent to have essentially equal, ongoing, and meaningful relationships with their children. True 50/50 equal and joint custody and decision making should be the default in all states unless a parent is determined to be unfit or agrees to another arrangement.

3. Conduct an investigation into child support and alimony (spousal support) laws and rulings. Advise and direct courts to develop new policies and practices that adequately provide for the basic financial needs of children being cared for by one or both biological parents not living in the same household, without violating the inalienable financial or property rights of either biological parent. True 50/50 financial responsibility for children based on USDA national guidelines on the cost to raise a child should be assumed unless otherwise agreed upon by the parents.

4. Conduct an investigation into the impact of The Violence Against Women Act, it's effectiveness, and how gender discriminatory policy impacts practices, policies, and judicial decisions in family court and the American justice system. Federal and state laws and programs must be consistently and fairly written and enforced to provide equal protection under the law for both men and women in family court and in programs intended to protect families and children from domestic violence.
Public Comments
Sep 9th, 2016
Someone from Philadelphia, PA signed.
Sep 9th, 2016
Someone from Windsor Mill, MD signed.
Sep 9th, 2016
Someone from Alpharetta, GA signed.
Sep 9th, 2016
Someone from Baltimore, MD writes:
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I'm going through this process of injustice through the family court system and it is truly an emotional experience to be a parent and strangers deciding your families future without care of the long term affects that their decisions create between all involved especially the children and parents who want to be in their child's life more than every other weekend....family is a unit that needs respect and shouldn't be divide for profitable gain....
Sep 8th, 2016
Someone from Bensenville, IL signed.
Sep 8th, 2016
Someone from Winder, GA writes:
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50/50 custody should be the default. Educate both sides of the family for the good. No more profiting from conflict in the courts. Our children are at stake. Our Nations future is at stake.
Sep 7th, 2016
Someone from Clovis, CA signed.
Sep 7th, 2016
Someone from Suffolk, VA signed.
Sep 7th, 2016
Someone from Bronx, NY signed.
Sep 7th, 2016
Someone from Bronx, NY signed.
Sep 6th, 2016
Someone from Gainesville, GA writes:
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The courts definitely need to take a look at this!! I have put into a scarey situation with my job, son, life, and lots of dept. and all because I filed for divorce cause I couldn't live with a women that was unfaithful, and she got everything and I mean everything. I was never going to do her the way your courts allowed her to do me-
Sep 5th, 2016
Someone from La Canada Flintridge, CA signed.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Gainesville, GA signed.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Austin, TX writes:
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I have been a victim of fraud both by attorneys and a court system that just overlooked all of the evidence and a judge who made a judgment based on vague recollection of my case. A simple family law case wasted money from the martial estate and has caused significant financial loss. This nonsense has to be stopped with common sense laws from all states. Vocabulary and sections such as "visitation" and "joint managing" conservator has to be taken off from language of child care. Both parents have to be equally responsible for raising a child after separation. In the event a parent is not able to take care of a child - then a equitable process has to be worked out.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Phenix City, AL signed.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Monroe, GA writes:
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Change needs to happen for the sake of the children!
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Tampa, FL writes:
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The best interest of America's children is to prosecute, fine and discipline Attorneys who profit by plundering vulnerable families to the point of financial, emotional and moral bankruptcy.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Centerville, GA writes:
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A child is entitled to equal time with both parents. It should also be addressed that if a parent makes false allegations against the other parent in attempt to gain custody, they should have a heavy punishment for it.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Phenix City, AL writes:
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Help stand against bias and bigotry by corrupt judges in the Family Court system. Please reform these laws and make Divorce and Custody reform a national issue. Our courts have been used to attack the natural family and destroy America. Stand together today.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Bloomingdale, GA writes:
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Every child has a right to both parents equally.
Sep 4th, 2016
Someone from Columbus, GA signed.
Sep 3rd, 2016
Someone from Santa Ana, CA signed.
Sep 3rd, 2016
Someone from Sapulpa, OK signed.
Sep 3rd, 2016
Someone from Rockville, MD signed.
Sep 2nd, 2016
Someone from Council Bluffs, IA signed.
Aug 31st, 2016
Someone from North Newton, KS signed.
Aug 31st, 2016
Someone from North Newton, KS signed.
Aug 31st, 2016
Someone from Gainesville, FL writes:
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Also, sign this petition demanding that the child support system not be reviewed by the courts unless last resort. Also, to follow a more European style program that is fair to both parents and protect the child/ren. http://nap-sack.org/petition/2/50-state-campaign-for-child-support-reform
Aug 31st, 2016
Someone from Gainesville, FL writes:
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Also, sign this petition demanding that the child support system not be reviewed by the courts unless last resort. Also, to follow a more European style program that is fair to both parents and protect the child/ren. http://nap-sack.org/petition/2/50-state-campaign-for-child-support-reform
Aug 31st, 2016
Someone from Aliso Viejo, CA signed.
Aug 31st, 2016
Someone from Walton, KS signed.
Aug 30th, 2016
Someone from Waco, TX signed.
Aug 30th, 2016
Someone from Alvord, TX writes:
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It is sexist to rule a woman needs child support because the courts want to continue to force traditional sexually biased roles rather than to say a child needs both parents equally, with no child support from either. Father's are more than a paycheck. 50/50 custody should be the norm.
Aug 30th, 2016
Someone from Longmont, CO signed.
Aug 30th, 2016
Someone from Alvord, TX writes:
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No fit parent should be reduced to 4 days a month with their child. Every child deserves equal time with both parents.
Aug 30th, 2016
Someone from Beaumont, CA signed.
Aug 29th, 2016
Someone from Laredo, TX signed.
Aug 29th, 2016
Someone from Laredo, TX signed.
Aug 29th, 2016
Someone from Midland, TX writes:
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Why does a civil court child custody case for a non offending parent allow slander and deferamation of character to be the only offense to violate civil rights of fathers? These things are not allowed in criminal court in yet to many men who do care for there child have there civil rights trampled on over and over. With nothing being done about it. After it is over review the case this is a pure case of deferamation of character and slander.
Aug 29th, 2016
Someone from Odessa, TX writes:
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Why does the court allow slander and deferamation of character to be there only reason for trying to terminate a non offending parents rights? If it isn't allowed in criminal court why does civil court for all child custody battles allow it??

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