SOURCE: National Parents Organization

National Parents Organization

October 28, 2016 17:39 ET

International Experts Conclude Shared Parenting Can Reduce Domestic Violence

National Parents Organization Remains Committed to Domestic Violence Awareness Year-Round

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - October 28, 2016) - National Parents Organization recognizes the goals of the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month year-round by raising awareness of the tragic impact domestic violence has on many families throughout the nation. As President Obama has said, domestic violence impacts "women, men, and children of every age, background, and belief."

National Parents Organization will continue to support shared parenting (50/50 custody) when parents divorce or separate only in cases where domestic violence is not an issue. The organization's leadership urges others to also join in the fight against domestic violence by supporting shared parenting.

International experts have concluded that shared parenting can help reduce domestic violence. At the 2015 International Conference on Shared Parenting, which included about 120 research scientists and other experts from more than 20 countries, participants concluded that "…shared parenting [after parental separation or divorce] is recognized as the most effective means for both reducing high parental conflict and preventing first-time family violence."

This is in stark contrast to the practices of most family courts in the Unites States, which have assumed that shared parenting between high conflict parents after separation or divorce is dangerous and should not be tried. National Parents Organization is pleased that a handful of states -- including Missouri, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Minnesota, and South Dakota -- have implemented laws that encourage shared parenting. More than 20 states have considered similar proposals in the last year.

National Parents Organization's Founder and Board Chairman Ned Holstein, MD, was a featured speaker during the International Conference on Shared Parenting. Of the conference's conclusions, he said, "Remember when we were told not to eat butter until the experts found that it is actually preferable to margarine? Well, we now have the startling reversal that shared parenting after parental separation or divorce is the most effective means for reducing high parental conflict, and that it decreases the subsequent onset of first-time family violence. It is wonderful to know that we have a way to help the children of high-conflict couples who separate or divorce."

RECENT RESEARCH: SHARED PARENTING VERSUS SINGLE PARENTING

Shared Parenting Data

  • The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published a 150,000-person study titled "Fifty moves a year: Is there an association between joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems in children?" in May 2015 that concluded shared parenting after divorce or separation is in the best interest of children's health because the arrangement lowers their stress levels.
  • The Journal of the American Psychological Association published a paper titled "Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report" in 2014, and the conclusions were endorsed by 110 eminent authorities around the world. Authored by Dr. Richard Warshak at the University of Texas, the paper concluded, "... shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages, including very young children."
  • The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) published the recommendations of 32 family law experts in 2014, and the group concluded, "Children's best interests are furthered by parenting plans that provide for continuing and shared parenting relationships that are safe, secure, and developmentally responsive and that also avoid a template calling for a specific division of time imposed on all families."

Single Parenting Data

According to federal statistics from sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, children raised by single parents account for:

  • 63% of teen suicides;
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions;
  • 71% of high school drop-outs;
  • 75% of children in chemical abuse centers;
  • 85% of those in prison;
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders; and
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children.

MEDIA SOURCE

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.

A regular contributor to local and national media, Dr. Holstein is Founder and Chair of the Board of National Parents Organization. Dr. Holstein was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to the Massachusetts Working Group on Child-Centered Family Law, and he was previously appointed by a Massachusetts Chief Justice to a task force charged with reviewing and revising the state's child support guidelines.

A graduate of Harvard College, Holstein also earned a Master's degree in psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His medical degree is from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he later served on the faculty as a teacher and researcher.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION

National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or separation. The organization is focused on promoting shared parenting and preserving a child's strong bond with both parents, which is critically important to their emotional, mental, and physical health. In 2014, National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws. Visit the National Parents Organization website at www.nationalparentsorganization.org.

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