Family law should be reformed

Published 3:22 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Editor,

According to a U.S. Gallup survey, almost 80% of those polled believe that the “physical absence of the father from the home” is the most significant social problem of today. Also according to Gallup, over 27 million children in the US live apart from their biological fathers, and that number is rapidly increasing.

The main cause of fatherless and a one parent home in Alabama are court-ordered by way of custody rulings.

Kenneth and his daughter have been limited to only 3 hours of face-to-face time in the last 24 months for no legal reason. Approximately 40,000 children annually are subjected to being deprived of important and significant time with one parent across all 67 counties in Alabama for no logical or legal reasoning.

What have we done to counter the known lasting effects on children when they are forced in a one parent relationship and put at risk?

• Increased child support

• Initiated “Every Child a Graduate” program

• Created anti-bullying campaigns

• Created federally funded fatherhood initiative programs

• Created hundreds of children advocacy programs that receive federal money to address the symptoms caused by placing children at risk

But we have failed to address the basic principle of it all – Ensuring children have two fit parents during and after a custody situation.

Alabama is currently ranked 44th among the 50 states in overall child well-being. As a concerned citizen, retired U.S. Army First Sergeant, Birmingham Chapter President of the Alabama Family Rights Association, and the father of a wonderful 9-year-old daughter, I must announce that we have exhausted all other possibilities to protect the birth-rights and futures of children. We must reform Alabama Family law and practices.

Reforming family law by reestablishing the importance of both mothers and fathers will not only stop putting our children at risk, it will also save Alabamians and legislature an estimated $55.4 million annually. I am asking our legislatures in a bipartisanship to pass the Children’s Equal Protection Act during the 2014 legislative session. Healthy Children promote a healthy economy!

Kenneth Paschal