Category Archives: Shared Parenting

H1400

Alimony Reform Shared Parenting

Fathers & Families: Candidates’ Positions on Shared Parenting and Other Family Court Issues

Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 14), there will be primary elections throughout the state. For the first time in years, many of the races are contested, and a few votes could make the difference between a candidate winning or losing.

I urge all of you to vote tomorrow. Remember that if you are registered as an Independent (also called “Unenrolled”), you may vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

We have information on only a few races. Please keep in mind that as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Fathers and Families does not endorse or oppose any particular candidate.

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Alimony Reform Creem Rudnick Shared Parenting

Cynthia Creem's Campaign Manager Lies About Creem's Record on Family Court Reform

[ed_note]The Globe article has been corrected. Sherry was either misquoted or retracted the statement. The correction isn’t clear about what happened. We don’t have any issue with the Creem campaign’s current statement.[/ed_note]

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Cynthia Creem

Following today’s endorsement of Charles Rudnick by Warren Tolman and George Bachrach, the Globe contacted the Creem Campaign for a reaction.

Toward the end of the article, Mike Sherry, Cynthia Creem’s campaign manager, tells a whopper:

“Sherry said Creem has set up a task force that is going to report back with a proposal to change state child custody and alimony laws, and he said that by this time next year the senator expects consensus legislation will be passed.”

Creem is in a very tough race, with Rudnick probably in the lead. (See the Newton Tab’s online poll). And she finds herself on the defensive about her failure to make progress on two popular family court reform bills for Alimony Reform (H1785) and Shared Parenting (H1400).

Creem has tried to portray her obstructionist record, and the fact that she belatedly organized a lobbyist filled task force to study Alimony Reform as a record of leading on Alimony Reform. And she has parsed her words carefully minimizing her work as a divorce lawyer by saying she only “litigated” a few divorces this year. Anyone with experience in family law knows that only about one case in 20 is litigated. For each case litigated probably 20 were represented.

But her campaign has avoided saying outright untruths – until now.

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Alimony Reform Creem Rudnick Shared Parenting

Ned Holstein: Senator Creem and Mr. Rudnick, Help our children

Ned Holstein

The Newton TAB and the Boston Globe have reported a bizarre flier that has been distributed lately in Newton. It claims that Senator Cynthia Creem is “perpetuating a war against children and parents.” As chairman of the board of Fathers & Families, a national nonprofit with 6,000 supporters in Massachusetts, I am dismayed by this foolish attack. Unfortunately, the rants of a tiny group called FathersUnite.org cause people to dismiss important questions about the family courts, the welfare of our children and our elected officials.

The experience of a Fathers & Families member makes the problem clear. When his 2-year-old son Joshua (fictitious name to protect privacy) is frightened, he reflexively throws his arms around his dad and holds on for dear life. For some reason, he gets special comfort from holding onto dad’s earlobe. Unfortunately, since his parents separated, the courts have ordered that he only gets to see his dad about four days per month, with no overnights. Joshua toddles around the house searching for “Dada, Dada,” is often sad and sleeps poorly at night.

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Alimony Reform Creem Rudnick Shared Parenting

Bob Norton's Anti-Creem Fliers – Why it's Happening

Click to read the flier

Starting two weeks ago, a number of father’s rights activists, led by Bob Norton, began distributing fliers in Newton critical of Sen. Cynthia Creem for blocking two family court reform bills this year - Shared Parenting (H1400) and Alimony Reform (H1785).

Emotions are running high among people who have advocated for these bills all year. Many of these activists were calling the legislature on an almost daily basis asking for progress on these bills.

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They’ve Been Asking for Help all Year

When there was a public hearing on these bills back in September, many hundreds of them showed up at the State House to testify. The hearing room was packed to over-flowing. It was so hot and packed that at least one person was taken out on a stretcher.

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Shared Parenting

Who Supports Shared Parenting (H1400)?

Where does your senator or representative stand on the rights of children to have access to fathers?

Massachusetts House Bill H1400 (An Act Relative to Shared Parenting), would create a rebuttable presumption that equal shared parenting for two fit parents is in the best interests of children. Today in Massachusetts, as in most states nationally, in cases of divorce most children lose meaningful contact with their fathers. In Massachusetts in 80% of cases children of divorced families see their fathers 50 days per year or less. read more »

Alimony Reform CORI Reform Cynthia Creem Eugene O'Flaherty Shared Parenting

Alimony Reform, Shared Parenting, and CORI Reform Bills Expire May 7th

Alimony Reform almost certain to get a second extension. Shared Parenting and CORI Reform on life-support.

This year’s deadline for legislative committees to act on bills was March 17th. Any bill that was not referred out of committee or extended on that day is dead for this legislative session. But a committee may give certain bills and extension order – this year until May 7th.

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Alimony Reform CORI Reform Eugene O'Flaherty Shared Parenting

CORI Reform Blocked by Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty Again

Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty

Representative Eugene O’Flaherty is House Chair of the Judiciary Committee. In that position he has the power to block any legal reform he doesn’t like. No matter how popular the reform, or how much public or legislative support it has, if he doesn’t like it, it doesn’t go through.

And there is a long list of popular reforms that he’s been able to block for years. Many eventually get through – but not before a lot of damage is done.

This year O’Flaherty is blocking:

  • CORI Reform (H3523),
  • Shared Parenting (H1400)
  • Alimony Reform (H1785)

Each of these bills have been introduced for the past several years. All of them have wide popular and legislative support. Many legislators have legitimate differences over over these bills – but they have never gotten an opportunity to debate them – because O’Flaherty has already decided – they aren’t coming out of committee. Whether you are for them or against them, I think all people of good will believe that these are the types of issues which should be debated before the entire legislature, and where legislators, as representatives of the people can vote their conscience.

But Rep. O’Flaherty doesn’t think so. And even though he represents only the city of Chelsea, he is happy to decide these issues for everyone. His answer is “no”.

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Alimony Reform Creem Rudnick Shared Parenting

Today Was the Last Day for Most Bills to Get Out of Committee

The Massachusetts State House

Today was the legislative deadline to refer bills out of committee. After today, unless your bill was ‘late filed’ or got a special extension – then it’s dead. At least until next year.

I called the legislature about two bills I care about H1400 (Shared Parenting) and H1785 (Alimony Reform) and fortunately both have gotten extensions.  They are both still alive until at least May 7th.

I doubt H1400 will make it out of committee this year. I think it will be successfully blocked by just a few legislators. Even though Shared Parenting is very popular with voters – like many issues – it will be blocked by two committee chairmen – Cindy Creem and Gene O’Flaherty. read more »

Governor Shared Parenting

Deval Patrick Shows a Little Backbone on Shared Parenting

Deval Patrick

It looks like Deval Patrick may convene a task force on Shared Parenting after all.

For months now, activists for Shared Parenting, bill H1400 have been asking Gov. Patrick to convene a task force on shared parenting like he promised months ago.

It looks like Patrick may keep his promise to the people after all. The Governors cheif legal counsel, Mo Cowan has been making inquiries into who should be on the task force. On the short list are Dr. Net Holstein and Dr. Peter Hill.

Governor Shared Parenting

Deval Patrick Promises Again to Convene a Task Force on Shared Parenting

Deval Patrick

In his monthly appearance on WTKK, today Governor Deval Patrick promised to convene a task force to study Shared Parenting.

A bill on Shared Parenting has appeared before the Legislature for the last several years. It’s before the Legislature again this year in the form of bill H1400. It would create a presumption that in divorce, when there are two fit parents that shared custody, it is in the best interests of children – a finding backed up by most modern studies on child development after divorce. read more »