[AKidsRight.Org] Langeac Declaration /Michigan /North Dakota /Texas & FEEDBACK on NY Bill A330

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From: AKidsRight.Org Webmaster (webmaster@akidsright.org)
Date: Tue Mar 14 2006 - 13:37:07 EST

Good People & People of Faith,

This message contains info on the words we use to describe the
reform we seek:

1. The Langeac Declaration - a European Contribution.
2. Michigan - Bill to amend the Child Custody Act.
3. North Dakota - a serious ballot initiative for reform.
4. Texas - joint 'conservatorship' for last 10 years.
5. Your FEEDBACK - on the wording of New York Bill A330

What do we want? How do we get there? Hopefully the answer helps not
only parents going through divorce/separation, but also families
pulled apart by 'child protective services.'  A Canadian, Eric
Tarkington, etarking@ooadvocate.com, came up with a nice 'short'

   "Nothing will really happen for the better until the law says you
   keep parental rights equal with the other parent, and superior to
   the government, unless you are proven guilty of a crime with the
   full criminal rules of evidence and all due process."

1. The Langeac Declaration - a European Contribution
[We recommend you look at this. It has strong equality wording and is
not too long. - Ed.]
Submitted by:  Julian <fried@aesops.force9.co.uk>

... The Langeac Declaration is a declaration of family rights and
equal parenting, drafted and signed in Langeac, France, 30th July 1999
by parents' group representatives from around the world. It is pretty
clear and to the point. You can click on the link.. below for
translations into the six languages.

... I know it is not a law, but it is a declaration of the principles
upon which national laws would need to be based to meet family rights
criteria, which makes it no stranger to legality, just as with the
UNCCR. In my view, equal parenting laws do not need to be lengthy,
intricate or inaccessible to your average parent - if they are, they
are not doing their job. Langeac has accountability written into it,
it has signatories and derogations, it's not just something from one
group or country, and the movement it is part of is ongoing and

2.Michigan - Bill to amend the Child Custody Act
Submitted by: Michael T Ross <mtross152@comcast.net>



But one state legislator, Rep. Leslie Mortimer, R-Horton, has
introduced a bill that could reduce the need for devoting so many
resources to child support enforcement.

It would simply amend the Child Custody Act of 1970 to create a
presumption that parents who divorce maintain joint custody of their
minor children. Both would retain the legal right to authorize medical
treatment, have access to school records and so forth. Both would have
physical custody of their child(ren) for alternating and substantially
equal periods of time.....

The legislation makes provision for rebutting the presumption of joint
custody -- if a parent is either "unfit, unwilling or unable,"...

3. North Dakota - a serious ballot initiative for reform
Submitted by: Stephen Baskerville  <sbaskerville@cox.net>

VIEWPOINT : Make N.D. the model for 'joint custody' laws. The article
below was published last week in the Grand Forks Herald and apparently
other newspapers in North Dakota, thanks to the efforts of Mitch
Sanderson and the North Dakota Coalition for Families and Children.
Mitch and NDCFC have been very successful in getting media attention
for their ballot initiative on shared parenting, which was approved
recently by the Secretary of State and for which they are now
gathering signatures...  To send a letter to the editor in support of
Mitch, write to: tdennis@gfherald.com.  Mitch can be reached at
mitchell_sanderson@hotmail.com.  Read more about it, including a
supportive letter to the editor:


Excerpt from news story above:

Secretary of State Alvin Jaeger on Wednesday approved for circulation
an initiative by a Grand Forks man that would ensure that parents are
not denied joint physical custody of their children unless they are
termed unfit to raise children.....

4. Texas - joint 'conservatorship' for last 10 years
Submitted by: Robert.Green@dshs.state.tx.us 
legislative liaison, Texas Fathers Alliance

I have no idea if you can use this or not, but Texas already has a
presumption for joint managing conservatorship (for ~ 10 years) in our
Family Code [Section 153.131(b)] You can see the entire "Parent and
Child" section of this Code at the following web page:

5. Your FEEDBACK - on the wording of New York Bill A330
We got a lot of FEEDBACK to our recent list message on proposed
legislation in New York.  To read the message and find reference to
the full text of the bill, go to:

WARNING - a few folks in NY leadership took strong exception to the
message in some of the comments you will read below. We print messages
in support as well as criticism. Perhaps we'll all learn from the

--- David Brakebill <drb_lnx@yahoo.com>

> ...a small step in the right direction, but we have a long way to
> go!

--- Joseph.M.Mates@bankofamerica.com

> I agree with you. A330 is a small step in the right direction, but
> there is more work to be done.

--- Bob Farrell <bob@efponline.com>

> Like with anything, you would be giving great power to good dads and
> scary power to vindictive, crappy dads who only want to use/abuse
> kids to hurt someone else. Who knows which person truly deserves the
> magic wand. What is the answer?

---  thomas.conway@themadnucleus.com

> It is quite simple: NY is a stubborn elephant, very reluctant to
> move. Our leverage comes in minute steps, however, a feather
> properly applied to the beast can have extraordinary results.

> Bottom Line: Don't nit pick a step in the right direction, no matter
> how small, everyone whole believes parents should have equal rights
> should support this Bill (A330).

> Here's how : http://www.glennsacks.com/nysp/

> I have, and I have urged all of my friends to do so as well.

--- Tammy Bowman <tamdpm@yahoo.com>

> Keep up the fight, stay strong....A330 is the First Step in the
> process.  I've been working on getting signatures, it's going very
> well.  Many more women than men are signing.  The men often look
> suspicious at me, then I say, "Imagine your son gets divorced, you
> may not see your grandchildren for years after." That's usually the
> clincher.

--- Deb Lefebvre <Monarchspirit@aol.com>

> In my opinion, making the standard required to award custody of your
> child to non parents the "best interest" standard, opens the door
> for grandparent's rights as well as any other family member aunts,
> uncles, brothers, etc to receive custody of a child if a judge feels
> it's in the best interests of the child.
> This could be opening up very dangerous territory where grandparents
> have 'more rights' than the parents, or it could be meant as a means
> to avoid foster care..........

--- Jeffery Shipman <geraldjames@worldnet.att.net>

> ... Not sure I"m making it to LEAD this year.  Seems we're fighting
> like hell for a few yards rather than for a touchdown.  I don't
> believe in the "little by little" methods others would have us take
> faith in.  It's the government's way of throwing a bone now and
> again to placate the enemy.  The women, blacks, etc. never got
> anywhere without spectacular actions as a result of thinking
> "outside the box."

--- Greg Fischer <perfect100@hotmail.com>

> On the NYS law as it is now--- grandparents MUST be contacted before foster 
> care (or perm placement) is considered.

> On shared parenting, it is actually a great leap considering the present law 
> is brutal and unjust.  Go to the senate site and look at matching bill S291 
> --- that is far clearer if you look at the changes as highlighted.

> A330 is for the over 80% of families that should not get dragged into full 
> blown custody battles.  Further, if you look at the progress of this bill 
> surely a more complex bill will NEVER pass --- so that is moot.

> Further, if you get a PL award against you, and a CS award to pay, the WORST 
> thing would be to wait to get through a criminal event ----- 1.) delay is 
> NOT your friend, and 2.) perjury is its own problem and nothing in the law 
> can fix the non-prosecution of perjury --- that is a CANCER in the system.

> Also, Family Court intentionally loosens the rules of evidence --- you can't 
> tighten up the rules without doing away with the Family Court --- that is 
> also a futile battle right now.

> The ONLY choices are suicide, armed revolution, or change the laws one step 
> at a time.

> Believe me, this is the only way to do it.  It is a tough world and it will 
> only change in small steps.

--- Randy Dickinson <randy_fafny@yahoo.com>

> Jesus Christ, guys!  Where were all of the legal scholars (Romeo,
> Tarkington, Murtari, et al) before the eleventh hour for actually
> getting something - anything (!) - out of committee, when there
> might have been some purpose in debating arcane language and fine
> points of law?  If you don't like the wording in the bill as
> written, you should have spoken up long before now.
> It's a little late to be weighing in with this kind of negative and
> potentially damaging crap now.  We can all sit around and pick
> pepper out of fly #hit later.
> What we need now is your support.  What we most assuredly do not
> need at this delicate juncture, is a lot of second-guessing and
> nea-saying that runs the risk of undermining the time, energy, and
> effort of so many dedicated people for so many years to bring us at
> last to this point.  If you can't bring yourself to get behind this
> now, then, at least for the moment, you might consider just shutting
> the #uck up!!!

--- Julian <fried@aesops.force9.co.uk>

> I do believe that anything that allows a 'best interest'
> determination by a single Judge does not either recognize or protect
> the Civil Right we have as parents of our own children."

> You could help show that this is a joined-up "Western" effort to
> sustain a family rights vision and movement by showing (or
> re-emphasizing) that you register the importance of the Langeac
> Declaration [see link above-Ed] - as precisely this representation
> of "long term goals for reform" you are seeking?  Short-term as far
> as I am concerned - we cannot afford to have another eighteen-years
> worth of children and adults treated in this way.

> Your "http://www.AKidsRight.Org/family_rights_act.htm" is very good,
> in terms of points raised, but it is highly detailed and is phrased
> in such a way as to be United States specific. Think about it ...? 
> Ours was not phrased in this way because we spent a week discussing
> it and had representatives from Chile, Germany, the UK, England,
> Holland, Spain and France. We couldn't phrase it a way which
> excluded parts of humanity, we were "representative" of this as a
> universal "human rights" issue.

--- Dan  <romad63@yahoo.com>

> This is just sad. Really sad. and it pisses me off.  How many times
> do i have to say this is a FIRST STEP.  So now that you have added
> to the knives in my back by sending this out across the net.....

> Anything below is MY PERSONAL OPINION. I do not speak for FAFNY
> here. I speak as someone who in the past 2 years has spent a LOT of
> time getting this bill to the point its at.

> As always the critics come out when anything positive occurs - those
> critics are usually the same people who haven't done a damn thing. I
> have spent HUNDREDS of hours trying to get this bill passed. You
> have spent? This bill has been around for years now where we YOU all
> that time? Why NOW John when our opponents are looking to divide our
> efforts do you CHOOSE to help them. Your a military guy does this
> make any sense at all to you?

> So to sit and put out on the internet that its a bad bill and
> shouldn't be passed - well all I can say is history is repeating
> itself again. This whole movement gets destroyed everytime we make
> any gains by those who truly have NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING

> My usual response to them (and now you) is - if you don't like the
> bill - rewrite it yourself go to Albany and get it passed. and the
> answer I always get is - SILENCE.

> I have heard this 100 times JOhn and have yet to see a single bill
> put forth by a critic such as yourself.  NOT ONE.

> Tell you what I will be at the Capital Monday - write a complete
> bill as you want it BY MONDAY - email it to me and I will get it to
> someone to be introduced.  Better yet drive your bill to Albany
> MOnday and I will take you to someone who you can ask to introduce
> it.  THEN AND ONLY THEN do you have the write to trash MY WORK cause
> you really have no clue how the process works I would gather.

> If you can't do that - then sorry but I don't want to hear it
> anymore.

> Stop depending on me to do the work for you. I have been SAVAGED
> this week, John to the point I am ready to walk away and after this
> bill I most likely will. I cannot fathom the amount of HATE i have
> gotten from people over this bill. People who haven't lifted a finger
> such as yourself who i considered allies - well I guess I was wrong.

> There are other bills on the table and more I could get in but after
> all this BS - why should I bother. If all I am going to hear is it
> isn't good enough during every bill well then why should I even make
> the attempt and what have you gained - another 30 years of the
> current system. You keep talking about change yet thats all it is
> TALK - not ACTION and please don't talk to me about Clinton - that
> isn't going to change STATE LAW.

> Frankly I don't need it. Nothing will ever EVER satisfy everyone so
> those that oppose such as yourself decide to sabotage the effort
> rather than have ANY progress.

> This is NOT to be released publicly. FAFNY will be issuing a
> official response by Monday in regards to your and other
> criticisms. Sadly that means efforts toward improvement will be
> derailed yet again. Since you put this out - those who oppose the
> bill will use it against us in fact i have already gotten calls on
> it.

> It also means wasting valuable time in bringing about change. A
> small one perhaps BUT CHANGE - if you oppose the bill (and you do
> despite your words) then you are in essence saying the current
> system is just fine.

> Bottom line though John plain and simply is - if you don't like it I
> can't change that if you would prefer we remain a sole custody state
> with presumption of custody towards mothers - I can have the vote
> cancelled right now.  Make sure you tell your list though that YOU
> never lifted a finger to rewrite the bill in the past 5 years. Have
> at least the ethics to admit you did nothing until it had a chance
> to pass.

> Instead of worrying so much about what FAFNY is doing ( at least we
> are DOING and not WHINING) WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Where is your groups
> bill proposal? - Where is your groups lobbyist? - sorry but I
> haven't ran across any of your folks at the LOB these past few weeks
> and I have been there most every day.

> Since apparently you and other know so much about our legislative
> process please enlighten me as to how YOU are going to get a bill
> through. It was hard enough getting the word PRESUMPTION in the bill
> besides all the crap you dropped on me. So until you start doing
> instead of whining well....

> should I expect you to come to the Capital EVERY DAY NEXT WEEK to
> stand beside me and lobby or are you just going to fling mud from
> Syracuse. if so then please do me a favor and leave me be.

> do not give you permission to publish ANY of this ANYWHERE. Oh and
> Greg Romeo is in OKLAHOMA. I venture to guess that makes him an
> expert on NYS law now?  please.

> sorry john to be so rude but I have had enough. My time is too
> valuable to waste on this crap. I will make note that your group
> doesn't want to be part of the effort anymore and not waste your time
> with updates.

> again I expect you will honor my request to keep this between us.

Ouch!  I'd say thanks for the FEEDBACK, but I'm not so sure?  We have
met each other and talked and I think we have similar goals, but I got
lost in the tone of this message.  Please don't consider anything you
send me as private -- we all benefit from public discussions,
including opinions such as yours.  

Sorry to hear about the 'HATE' mail you have been getting -- but what
do you call this message?  Justified "HATE" mail, are there two types?
We need to treat everyone with dignity, respect & compassion.  It
benefits ALL of us.

I certainly hope you will continue with the effort.  As you well know,
reform is a long run effort and we have to pace ourselves.  We also
need to do whatever we do, because it has meaning to us as individuals
no matter what anyone else says.  The most secure satisfaction is from
being able to say I tried my best -- we don't have ultimate control
over results.  I know you know all those things, but sometimes it
helps to see it again.

I hope to also hear about what I asked about in my message.
Ultimate goals for reform?  I think that helps refine our effort.

<no reply received>

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