On Wednesday night, May 4, 2016 another legislative session ended.

HB 333 authored by several attorneys was defeated. The Alabama Family Rights Association (ALFRA), ALFRA Advisory committee, and hundreds of others worked hard to defeat HB 333. HB 333 failed to reach the senate floor for a vote during the Alabama 2016 legislative session because of the grassroots effort of WE THE PEOPLE taking action.
Congratulations to everyone that made phone calls, and wrote emails and letters to their legislators to stop this terrible child custody bill. Special appreciation to the hand full of legislators who cares deeply for Alabama’s children and took the time from their busy schedules to understand the indisputable evidence and  research for shared parenting, if both parents are fit. Special heartfelt appreciation also to everyone who worked countless and tireless hours behind the scenes in support the Alabama Family Rights Association’s efforts to make meaningful changes to the Alabama family law practices.
But there’s still very Important work to be done!
  • Like most American men and women, Alabamians overwhelmingly support shared parenting if both parents are fit. The last two legislative dates, they demonstrated this with countless of emails, calls and letters in opposition of HB 333. When we asked, none of the senators secretaries could recall any calls or emails in favor of HB 333.
  • Several news outlets were also helpful and ran our op-eds in opposition of March 14, 2016; April 27, 2016; May 3, 2016; May 4, 2016.
  • The research evidence for what is best for children grows stronger each day for shared parenting for fit parents. Proponents increasingly look uninformed when they propose bills opposite of the current scientific facts and actual research.
  • The quality of the objections raised by proponents is obviously nonsense.
  • For instance, the proponents started telling legislators, “The Alabama Family Rights Association supports 95% of the bill … This is nonsense given the number of articles made available to the public, and the fact ALFRA support the
The Family Law Committee, of the Alabama Law Institute (ALI), authored House Bill (HB) 333, which is a child custody bill. We are appreciative that the Family Law Committee has recognized the need to address out-of-date child custody laws.
Although HB 333 has been defeated, unfortunately approximately 40,000 children each year are still subjected and restricted by Alabama court orders to visiting one of their two fit parents for only 4-6 days a month when the parents are divorced or never married. Depriving children from having equal access and opportunity to be influence by both parents in their daily lives is tragic.
Some may consider defeating HB 333 as a victory. But knowing these Alabama court orders place our children at known risk of living in poverty, failing in school, and failing in life; all at the expense of the tax payer is disheartening. Knowing those in power ignored updated and current research that’s at their fingertips, and fact-based evidence revealing there is better or equal outcomes for children in equal time-shared parenting arrangement versus children in the customary 4-6 days a month is a disappointing failure on their part.
ALFRA is hopefully before the start of the 2017 legislative session, the lawmakers and others interested in making a positive change for the children in this great state will join them and develop a child custody bill based on current research, a bill that protects the child’s right to freely associate with both fit parents, and a bill that promotes the best interest and overall health of all children in Alabama.
The past several years have been full of hard work by extraordinary people dedicated to fighting the good fight for our Alabama children. Even if you have not been personally affected by child custody lawsuits, you probably know someone who has. In addition to your tax deductible donation, you can help us make a difference in Alabama’s legal system by becoming an active member of ALFRA.
The key to any meaningful change is being an active participant in the process. Please join us and help keep this momentum going.
Together, we can achieve our goal of getting Alabama Legislators to recognize and pass legislation that   “…equal or approximately equal time sharing with a minor child by both fit parents is in the best interest of the child."
Kenneth Paschal
State President
Alabama Family Rights Association
US Army Retired

Copyright © 2016 Alabama Family Rights Association, All rights reserved.

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