National Parents Organization
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|Motto||Preserving the bond between parents and children|
|Founders||Ned Holstein, John Cristofano, Phil Clendenning, John Maguire|
|Type||501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization|
|Purpose||To make shared parenting the norm by reforming family courts and laws|
|Headquarters||Newton, MA, United States|
|Ned Holstein, Founder and Chair |
Petra Maxwell, National Executive Director
|Website||National Parents Organization|
|Fathers and Families|
The National Parents Organization (NPO) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable and educational organization in the United States that promotes shared parenting. The organization focuses on family court reform, research and public education with the goal to make shared parenting the general norm in every state. The stated mission of the organization is to improves the lives of children and strengthen society by protecting every child's right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce and to seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.
The organization was founded in Massachusetts in 1998 with the name Foundation for Fathers and Families. The founders were Ned Holstein, John Cristofano, Phil Clendenning and John Maguire. The name was later shortened to Fathers and Families. In 2013 the name was changed to the National Parents Organization in order to reflect the organizations belief in gender neutral shared parenting and parental equality, as opposed to seeking any special rights for fathers.
Family Court Reform
The National Parents Organization seeks to reform laws both at the state and the national level to encourage shared parenting. Most of the family court reform work is done by local affiliates on a state-by-state basis.
In Kentucky, the National Parents Organization was instrumental in the 2018 passage of HB528, the nation's first presumption that shared parenting is in the best interest of the child.  In Virginia, the local affiliate led the successful campaign for House Bill 1351, requiring courts to consider shared custody arrangements along with sole custody.
In Utah, the National Parents Organization was a catalyst for House Bill 35, which encourages family courts to more equally award physical custody after a divorce or separation. The bill passed in 2015 .
The organization has advocated for and helped pass military parent child custody legislation in several states, ad has introduced legislation protecting men and children against paternity fraud. Members have served on state child support guidelines revision committees..
The organization promotes and disseminates scientific research on how children are effected by shared parenting versus other custody arrangements.
It has published a Shared Parenting National Report Card, which gave each state a grade of A to F on the degree to which they promote shared parenting after divorce or separation. The highest grade, which was just a B, was received by Alaska, Arizona and Minnesota. The lowest grade of an F was received by New York and Rhode Island.
In Ohio, the local chapter evaluated and compared the court guidelines that each county uses to determine parenting time when parents cannot agree. Each county received a grade of A to F, with A given to guidelines with the most equal time. Most counties received a D, but two counties, Ashtabula and Tuscarawas, received an A, while one county, Van Wert, received an F. The media attention generated interest and discussions among judges and court officials, with some counties revising their guidelines.
Through conferences and media, the National Parents Organization does public education on the benefits of shared parenting, based on scientific research from across the globe. Members also works to raise awareness about the problems with parental alienation.
Together with the International Council on Shared Parenting, the National Parents Organization sponsored the Third International Conference on Shared Parenting, held in Boston in May 2017. The theme of the conference was Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in Understanding Children’s Best Interest? The conference had presentations by scientists in the field of optimal post-divorce parenting arrangements .
The organization engages social, local, and national media to raise awareness about the family court system, shared parenting and parental alienation, with coverage by many both minor and major media outlets.. For example, in 2018 the co-chair of the Virginia chapter wrote an Op-Ed on comparing the growing uproar to children being separated from their parents at the border with the forced child-parent separations imposed by our family courts.
There are 16 state affiliates in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia.
- "Our Mission - Advocating for Children's true best interests". National Parent Organization.
- "Nonprofit Report for National Parents Organization Inc".
- "By: Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Chair of the Board".
- "Our History - committed to change".
- "Fathers & Families". Fairness.com.
- "NPO Achievements - Outlining National Parent Organization's History of Advocacy". National Parent Organization.
- Jennifer Ludden (February 26, 2014). "Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids?". National Public Radio.
- Ryland Barton (April 29, 2018). "Joint Custody Will Be The Default Under New Kentucky Law". WFPL National Public Radio.
- Matt Hale (November 29, 2018). "Opinion: Shared parenting law has fantastic election day". The Daily Independent.
- Saleen Martin (May 29, 2018). "When parents split, new Virginia law will make it easier to get joint custody". The Virginian-Pilot.
- Linda Reutzel (May 9, 2018). "On Mother's Day, let's celebrate shared parenting". The St. Louis Post - Dispatch.
- Mark Bliss (October 12, 2017). "Child-custody advocate: State law needs fix to provide parents with more equal custody". Southeast Missourian.
- Danielle Downs (May 19, 2015). "Utah's new shared parenting law in effect". Daily Herald.
- "NPO's Deuel appointed to serve 4-year term on Utah Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee". National Parents Organization. November 7, 2018.
- "Report of the Child Support Guidelines Task Force" (PDF). Mass.gov. October 2008.
- "2014 Shared Parenting Report Card, A New Look At Child Welfare, A State-by-State Ranking" (PDF). National Parents Organization. 2014.
- Donald C. Hubin, Frank Glandorf, Julia W. Carpenter-Hubin (August 29, 2018). "NPO Ohio Parenting Time Report" (PDF). National Parents Organization.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Rita Price (December 9, 2018). "Should Ohio divorce courts follow same standard in setting shared parenting?". The Columbus Dispatch.
- Paige Pfleger (September 17, 2018). "Report Reveals Antiquated Court Custody Guidelines Across Ohio". Cincinnati Public Radio News, WVXU.
- "Disposable Dad". Salt Lake City Weekly.
- Edward Kruk (26 June 2017). "Understanding Children's Best Interests in Divorce: Conclusions of the Third International Conference on Shared Parenting". Psychology Today.
- Traci L. Slatton (30 May 2017). "International Conference in Shared Parenting 2017: Watershed Moment". Huffington Post.
- "Our Achievements". National Parents Organization.
- Jonathan Ellis, USA TODAY (27 January 2014). "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome". usatoday.com.
- Christian Paasch (August 9, 2018). "Child separation issues go well beyond the border". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- "Presenting: NPO's Exciting New Executive Director!". NPO. April 4, 2018.
- "NPO State Affiliates". NPO.