On March 8, 2017, the Alabama Family Rights Association (ALFRA) held the first Family Law Reform Educational Day and Rally in Montgomery, AL. The rally was a great success and was made possible by the Isaak Law Firm, Burdick Law Firm, volunteers and dedicated supporters.
The day started off with a “meet and greet” with Legislators and then a rally on the State House steps. It was our pleasure to have guest speakers including House Representative, Jim Patterson and Attorney, Melissa Isaak.
ALFRA supports Senate Bill 186, sponsored by Senator Larry Stutts, which creates an equal starting point, in all child custody cases, for children and their parents. Thus, equally protecting a child’s relationship with both [fit] parents and reduces placing our children at risk for suicide, juvenile incarceration, drug use, sex trafficking and teen pregnancy.
Child custody law practices is one of the most important civil and human rights issue today. It is the role of the lawmakers to implement public policy to protect children and the family unit from unwarranted state and government interference.
The Alabama Law Institute (ALI), created in 1967, has proposed Senate Bill 191 and House Bill 239, which do not serve the diverse families of today. The two proposed bills by ALI recklessly place children at further risk of being separated from one of their fit parents without any legal reasoning or compelling state interest. Years of complaints from both parents, children of divorce and a survey conducted by the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts indicate there is a need for Alabama legislature to implement measures to protect children and families from biased court rulings. Here is a quote from the 2016 judges’ survey conducted by the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts: “I have never in ten years awarded ‘true custody’ or ‘50/50’ custody in a case. I do not believe that such instability is ever in any child’s best interest. Therefore, I do not do it of my own accord.”
The two bills proposed by the Alabama Law Institute (SB191 and HB239) do not remedy or change the current systemic problem. It is imperative that we educate ourselves and empower our lawmakers with evidence based literature that shows Senate Bill 186, will strengthen families and our weakened society.
A special thanks to all who participated or were there in spirit. We must stand up for social equality, families and for the innocent children who do not have a voice in this matter.
Click here to view the comparison chart. Please visit ALFRA.ORG blog for further action steps to help move SB186 out of the senate judiciary committee and onto the senate floor for a vote.
By: Kenneth Paschal, Pelham – Alabama, Alabama Family Rights Association State President, a child activist, a fit parent, an advocate for protecting parents’ fundamental rights, and U.S. Army Retired First Sergeant.
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