Support a statutory rebuttable presumption of Shared/Equal Parenting in child custody cases. Bill A3673 (Sidikman) or 2003 predecessor.
We the undersigned citizens urge the New York State Assembly to immediately pass Mr. Sidikman's Shared Parenting Bill A3673 of 2002 or it's equivalent for the session beginning January 2003. We further urge the entire Legislature and Governor to pass it into law as soon as possible.
Children and Families in New York have suffered too long. This law passed the Legislature overwhelmingly in 1978 and was surprisingly vetoed. Times have changed. 34 years of declining marriage rates, high divorce rates, high out of wedlock birth rates and the resulting social problems prove that what was needed then is even more desperately needed now. The best parent is BOTH parents. Not a Judge, not just one parent if the other wishes also to raise their child.
Our entire society suffers social ills that span the lifetimes of these children denied parents at the whim of just one parent and the court. Scientific, economic and legal evidence all show that to preserve the best interests of children, their civil rights and those of their parents and relatives, the present "winner takes all" custody game, which is rooted in 24 year old legal precedent and is not supported by the last 24 years of objective scientific research must be stopped.
According to Unified Court System reports from the mid-1990's, 97% of custody "awards" were to mothers. This amounts to summary termination of the parental rights of fathers based on gender alone. This mass creation of "sole custody" children has been shown to harm their outcomes. It does not reflect ANY rational basis in science or fact.
Please implement this policy which in many other states has encouraged marriage and reduced divorce. Most importantly it has created futures for children that are similar to those of children from intact families.
Thank you for doing what is best for innocent children and parents who are your neighbors, friends and relatives, despite the cost to the divorce an child custody industry. No amount of money can buy a lifetime of a parent's love and support yet under present policy, NY State routinely takes that priceless gift from children...over 100,000 times per year.
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