Family Rights Association
Meeting with Members of the Alabama
An important conference between concerned Pro-Family rights advocates and
state legislators took place at the Alabama State House on February 18th, 1999.
Due to scheduling conflicts with state budgeting hearings, only four state senators and
representatives attended this crucial meeting to hear valid arguments and concerns
regarding needed divorce law reform in Alabama. Due to very limited time constraints, only
a very limited overview of who AFRA is and what our goals are was presented. The many and
various topics to be presented by members of the Alabama Family RightsAssociation (AFRA),
the Association of Noncustodial Parents Rights(ANCPR), and Women for Fatherhood, were not
allowed to be presented at this particular meeting. This turned out to be more of a
"get acquatinted" meeting than a real dialogue. But WE WILL BE BACK!
The main focus of these Pro-Family groups is to encourage bills that
preserve family unity after divorce, particularly measures that protect the rightsof
children and parents to have significant contact with each other and for parents to share
equally in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children. Although there is
presently an Alabama statute that encourages joint custody after divorce, this state
policy is largely ignored by judges who persist in favoring sole custody by mothers,
resulting in custody awards to mothers in nine out of ten (90%) cases of contested
divorces. Fathers ( and sometimes mothers) are thus exiled from the lives of their
children and often driven into bankruptcy. The effects of this gender bias have
contributed largely to fatherlessness which is directly associated with high levels of
teenage crime, drug abuse, behavioral disorders, school-dropout, lowered school
performance, and runaway children. The Pro-Family groups, who believe that "the best
parent for children is TWO parents," want the Alabama legislature to revise the
present statute into making joint custody rebuttable and presumptive. This means that
joint custody would be routinely awarded to all divorced parents,unless it can clearly be
proved that either one is unfit. The groups are also advocating bills that would allow
children of age 12 or older todesignate the residential parent, a bill that would put the
burden of proof onto the custodial parent to show that an out-of-state move with the child
away from the noncustodial parent would not harm the child, and a bill that would provide
penalties for the false reporting of child abuse. There was also to be some discussion
about revising child support guidelines to more truly reflect support expenses and for
making child support payments accountable by the custodial parent. Presently, the
custodial parent is free to use the child support payments provided by the noncustodial
parent without any accountability as to where and how it is spent.The Pro-Family groups
indicate that this historic meeting with state legislators is the first time a meeting of
this magnitude has been held in the state capitol to discuss the need for change in
divorce and custody judicial policies.
- Back to
- No legal advice is given on this Webpage and/or Website. In
accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit
or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for
non-profit research and educational purposes only.
- This Website is sponsored by the Alabama Family
Rights Association (AFRA).
|For website information, changes, or updates, please send
comments via to ALfra@rocketmail.com.
|Let Us Create A Website
for Your Business! We're Fast, Efficient, and Effective!