North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative

Parenting Together ….Living Apart

Posted on November 4, 2014. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation, North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative | Tags: , , , |

It’s Time To Stand Up Against Unfair Treatment: No Indians Or Dogs Allowed

From D.J., a grandmother:

I would like to share with you a story. One that was told to me by my mother, one that I have never forgotten. My dad was white and my mother was Native American. Before they were married, when they would go on a date, my mother would tell of times that she was not allowed in certain businesses.

Why you might ask. Some businesses back then had signs on their doors that would read…NO INDIANS OR DOGS ALLOWED. Therefore, my Dad would go in alone, while my Mom was forced to stay outside. Hurtful and sad to my Mom? Yes. But that’s not the reason I share this story with you. I share this story because I find strength in knowing that somewhere along the line; someone must have stood up as a group, like the Shared Parenting Supporters, and were successful in changing the laws, so that those signs could no longer exist. As times change, so must the laws.

For the last several years I have watched while my grandchildren are pulled away from their Daddy every two weeks and watch them cry as they hold out their arms to him as they leave. And I have watched my son sit at my kitchen table and cry like a baby after they have gone. Those of you that have children know that your children are your children, no matter how old they are. And when your children hurt, you hurt. Despite the thousands of dollars he has spent in attorney fees, he still has limited time with his children and they with him. He is denied phone calls and is only allowed to talk to them for a few minutes twice a week within a one hour time frame. The children are sent to their rooms if they ask to call their Dad and are punished if they cry when he takes them back to the custodial parent. My granddaughter tells me she wishes she could see her guidance counselor everyday because she says every day she is sad. The same granddaughter shares with me that she has nightmares about her Mom (the custodial parent) chasing her and her friend with a knife! How many five year old girls dream such dreams about their Mom? The court says they are doing what is in the best interest of the children. I beg to disagree. I write this to you today as a proud Native American Mother, Aunt and most importantly Grandmother… because my children and my grandchildren need me to. I stand proud with my son as he struggles to change the custody laws and because the children of North Dakota need me to tell my story.

There are families in your State, North Dakotan’s, father’s mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and yes, children, that have had something that belongs to them taken away…a parent and an entire side of their family, and are hurting because of our outdated custody laws.

It is time for change. I am here today to ask the voters of North Dakota to Please support Measure 6…for the children!

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Mitchell Sanderson: Shared Parenting Measure Opposed With The Same Old Lies

Posted on October 7, 2014. Filed under: North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative | Tags: |

September 26th, 2014 by Mitchell Sanders

This is what the current family law system has created and what Measure #6 is trying to stop:

From a HHS Press Release, Friday, March 26, 1999:

“More than a quarter of American children—nearly 17 million—do not live with their father. Girls without a father in their life are two and a half times as likely to get pregnant and 53 percent more likely to commit suicide. Boys without a father in their life are 63 percent more likely to run away and 37 percent more likely to abuse drugs. Both girls and boys are twice as likely to drop out of high school, twice as likely to end up in jail and nearly four times as likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.”

It is painfully clear the dangers of sole custody are not worth the risks to our children. Shared parenting is a no-brainer! Let’s produce a system that actually works. Research shows Shared Parenting reduces conflict, helps parents cooperate for the sake of the children, children do better in their every day life and their adult life, shared parenting does not reduce material and financial support for the children, it does reduce re-litigation costs and it most closely resembles an intact family.

Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

Children who have lived through their parents’ divorces and have now entered young adulthood (and college) have given us their ‘expert’ advice. Seventy percent of them, men and women alike, believe that living equal amounts of time with each parent is the best arrangement for children.

Research supports the conclusion that joint custody is associated with certain favorable outcomes for children including father involvement, best interest of the child for adjustment outcomes, child support, reduced re-litigation costs, and sometimes reduced parental conflict.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that there is a presumption that fit parents act in their children’s best interests, there is normally no reason for the State to inject itself into the private realm of the family to further question fit parents’ ability to make the best decisions regarding their children, the U.S. Supreme Court regards parental rights as fundamental and protected by the First, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. So why would any attorney appose Shared Parenting?

Please do not fall for the misinformation being put forth by the opposition to measure 6. These people profit from family law and all they are trying to do is deceive you on the idea that kids being with both parents is bad. When two people are married with kids the government does not tell them how much time their kids can be with them so why in a divorce should the government have any say unless a parent is proven unfit.

The opposition is the same old foes telling the same old lies. Unethical attorneys profit from keeping parents fighting and are hurting the future of North Dakota, our children!

Please vote YES on Measure 6!

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Posted on August 5, 2014. Filed under: North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative, Shared Parenting, Terry Brennan | Tags: , , , |


On May 17th, 2004, Massachusetts became the first US State to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  In the following decade, eighteen additional States passed laws allowing gay marriage and fourteen others have rulings moving through appellate courts.  It would be almost impossible to argue that allowing gay marriage in Massachusetts didn’t help its advocates in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, California and elsewhere.

Clearly, there are differences between the gay marriage and shared parenting movements, as there would be with any two social issues.  High on the list of differences is that lawyers favor gay marriage, in part because it opens an entirely new revenue stream, and oppose shared parenting, as it lessens parental conflict, thus lowering their revenue.  But amongst the similarities is how shared parenting will be implemented throughout the world; territory by territory with each new conversion helping those that follow.

Every social movement needs that kind of turning point; be it in Massachusetts for gay marriage, the Montgomery Bus Boycott for African American Civil Rights or the march to the Dharasana Salt Works for the Indian Independence Movement.  Recently, such an opportunity has emerged to launch a shared parenting movement, and I’m personally asking YOU for help.

On July 21st, North Dakota Secretary of State Alvin Jaeger certified that local advocates had collected enough signatures to have a Shared Parenting ballot initiative included in the November 4th election.  To the best of our knowledge, this is the only territory in the world where citizens will have a binding vote on shared parenting, without having to go through attorney controlled Judiciary Committee’s or Task Forces.  Further cause for optimism is in poll after poll, shared parenting is extremely popular with the public, with no difference in the opinion of women and men.

Additionally, four national shared parenting organizations, Leading Women for Shared Parenting, Divorce Corp, Stand Up for Gus and American Coalition for Fathers & Children, will be working seamlessly with North Dakota advocates to educate the public about the benefits of shared parenting.  Each group brings unique skills and assets, and jointly, we’ll be more effective than individually.  For the first time, we have the opportunity to bring prominent women, attorneys, domestic violence experts, celebrities, prominent social scientists and others to the cause.  After lots of hard work, the pieces are coming together, to have North Dakota be a launching point for a shared parenting movement.  I’ll promise you, if we can win in North Dakota, it will increase the momentum in your territory.  That’s why you should get involved.

So why do I hope you don’t like this?  Because I want you to spend your time much more effectively.

“Liking” things on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere does practically nothing to help the cause and we need you to take more substantial action.  We’re already aware those who profit from the conflict generated by the existing family court system have met to plan their opposition strategy.  These extremists oppose doing what 110 of the world’s leading child development experts say is best for children, primarily for personal financial reasons.  They’ve generated millions from this system, and are willing to spend some of it to defend their income stream.

To offset them, we need your help.

If you’re reading this article on your smart phone, tablet or via your home internet connection, it’s almost certain you could find $5 to donate to the cause.  Will you?  I just did, and it took less than 90 seconds.  Some of you are able to invest more; $20, $50 or $100.  Can you?  Yes, we’re talking to larger donors in the hopes of receiving more significant donations, but we need to show commitment from the public to further their interest.  Let me tell you how.

There are currently two organizations who need your financial support.

The first is North Dakota Shared Parenting for Kids (NDSP4K), which is the main site for North Dakota advocates who have gotten shared parenting on the ballot.  I’m asking you to please, make a donation to this site through the link provided here.  Donations will be used to ensure the benefits of shared parenting are communicated honestly to the public.  The site also has impressive software, allowing you to share the news of your donation with all of your social media friends, letting them know of your belief in shared parenting.  Please use this technology to ask your friends to donate as well.

The second is Stand Up for Gus which is currently raising funds through a link provided here.  Funds raised by Stand Up For Gus will be used to offer support towards the North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative and launch a National Public Service Announcement helping millions of alienated children.

If we’re going to succeed in building this movement, we need leaders who will recognize, develop and seize opportunities.  We also need everyone to understand, FUNDRAISING IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY.  Please do your part; invest 2 minutes and $20 (or more) now.

So I hope you now understand why I truly don’t want you to “like” this article… but I also hope you’ll “share” this message with everyone.

Thank You.

Terry Brennan

Leading Women For Shared Parenting

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