To promote legislation that enforces a child's rebuttable presumed right of equal parenting, except in cases where the child would be placed in direct and imminent danger. Any diversion from this standard would require the opposing parent to prove that this is not in the best interest of the child. Equal parenting is defined as the shared parenting role of both parents where the child will spend 50 percent or as close to 50 percent of his or her time as possible with each and where parents are fully empowered with joint legal and joint physical custody. We also promote the believe that the terms "Custodial" and "Noncustodial" parent and "Visitation" should be removed from Laws and replaced with family-friendly terms.
To promote legislation that will require the development of a comprehensive parenting plan within 30 days after separation. This plan shall address details such as education, health care, parenting time, transportation arrangements, a procedure for alteration to the plan and a method for settling disputes concerning the plan. This legislation will mandate enforcement of parenting plans and provide for significant civil penalties if the plan is not followed
To promote legislation which will promote, encourage and establish a process in which a parent or parents who are not ready for the dual parenting role upon separation, can attain the level of skills or conditions necessary to become an active participant in their children's' lives. This legislation would establish a process of counseling, mediation and education that will enable both parents to attain the level of skills or conditions necessary to fulfill their role as equal, active and nurturing parents to their children.
To help define and codify the term “CHILD’S BEST INTEREST” so that all family needs are considered and parent actions truly support the growth and development of happy, healthy children.
To support legislation that provides significant consequences for parents, relatives, attorneys, mental health professionals, courts, friends, etc. who consciously or unconsciously attempt to alienate a child from the other parent.
Parent Alienation is psychologically harmful to children and should be considered child abuse. Interventions could include change in parent-child contact, parent and child evaluation, counseling, education, mediation, and civil and or criminal sanctions. Parent Alienation is the creation of a singular relationship between a child and one parent, to the exclusion of another parent - may be accomplished in many ways: discussing litigation with child, legal or non-legal limitation of time with one parent, little regard for the importance of contact with the other parent, lack of value regarding communication between visits; inability to tolerate the presence of the other parent , disregard for the importance of the relationship to the child, refusal to hear anything about the other parent, refusal to speak directly with the other parent, subtle accusations, destruction of memorabilia of the other parent, extreme lack of courtesy to the other parent, moving the child away from the parent, etc.
To foster societal recognition of a child’s right to be guided, nurtured and supported emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially by BOTH PARENTS regardless of the parents’ marital status. To instill in parents the understanding that it is their responsibility to provide this support as the basis of a child’s sense of security and self worth.
To assist in the formation of a Family Court system, solidly based on the experience and compassion of TRAINED judges and FAIR laws. Such a court would provide fair and sensitive treatment of parents and their children involved in domestic relations confrontations. It is our belief that an adversarial court system should not be used to resolve family custody and access issues.
To be instrumental in increasing public awareness of the harm done to children as a result of policies that make combatants of divorcing parents; and to promote child friendly alternatives that encourage collaborative parenting and cooperative problem solving.
To assist with the development and implementation of an education process for parents of separation or divorce which addresses a cooperative and collaborative approach to parenting, parent alienation syndrome, development of a parenting plan based on the needs of the family, and the divorce process.
Support legislation that provides incentives for both parents to remain near their children in an active and equal parenting role and places the burden of proof that this move is in the best interest of the children and family on the relocating parent.
To promote the development of a child support system that realistically reflects the cost of the children's basic needs, the parent's income, cost of living, IRS benefits and child-related expenses incurred when children are living with each parent. In addition, both parents must be held accountable for the expenditures of child support income and a parenting plan that equitably distributes parent parent-child contact time between the parents must be in place before child support transfers commence (payments may be placed in escrow while a parenting contract is under negotiation).
To promote legislation which will treat false accusations of abuse, harassment and domestic violence as the social toxin they are. Parents found to have sought tactical advantage in custody disputes through false accusations will face severe consequences.
To promote and assist in the development of visitation centers that are gender neutral and are conducive to maximizing quality time with a parent.
To provide moral support to members suffering as a result of impaired time with their children due to the outcome of divorce or the circumstances of unwed parenthood.
To develop and send out a newsletter that will provide relative information to parents, lawyers, judges, educators, legislators, mental health workers, etc.
To sponsor and promote family events that will foster the goals of our organization.
To sponsor seminars within the state to facilitate the goals of our organization.
To conduct assessments relevant to our goals of change within the State of South Dakota.