American Coalition of Fathers and Children

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The American Coalition of Fathers & Children (ACFC) is an organization that promotes the reform of family law to increase fathers' rights. It is associated with the men's rights movement. ACFC has numerous affiliate organizations throughout the United States, including Parents Without Rights. In 2003, Stephen Baskerville became the president of ACFC. ACFC's Washington Office is located at 1718 M St. NW. #1187 Washington, DC 20036. The organization's web site is acfc.org.

In 2006, the ACFC-affiliated North Dakota Coalition for Families and Children promoted a ballot question initiative which succeeded in getting the question onto the ballot.[citation needed] Opponents campaigned heavily against the ballot question, which ultimately failed by a margin of 56 to 44.[citation needed]

In 2011, the ACFC-affiliated Illinois Fathers promoted a bill HB1604 referred to as the Steven Watkins Memorial Act. The bill set penalties for Visitation Interference or a denial of visitation rights defined by court order equitable to that of child support arrears or enforcement [1] Steven Watkins was murdered during a routine visitation with his daughter during his divorce. Shirley Skinner, the grandmother of his estranged wife was convicted of murder.[2] Prior to and after the conviction, the family of the Watkins endured substantial visitation interference resulting in 9 misdemeanor charges of visitation interference[3] against the former estranged wife Jennifer Watkins. The bill aims to make visitation interference a far more significant offense within Illinois to help curb incidents by allowing family court judges to suspend offender's drivers and professional licenses, establish fines, and even have jail time if convicted through civil court.[4]

ACFC also assisted in the filing of a class action lawsuit on 6 May 2011, which claims Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) over collects child support payments in violation of state statutes and federal regulations. Records indicate in excess of $176 million has been wrongfully taken from over 114,000 child support payers. The suit further alleges ODJFS knowingly and willfully deceives parents concerning the status of their child support records while receiving tens of millions of dollars in unearned incentive and reimbursement payments from U.S. taxpayers.[5]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "HB1604". 97th General Assembly. Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Rhys, Sanders (March 24, 2011). "Jennifer Watkins fighting extradition to Illinois". State Journal Register. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Rushton, Bruce (4 April 2011). "Watkins charged with visitation crimes; could lead to extradition". State Journal-Register. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Lazar, Cynthia. "Bill would suspend driver's license for visitation violations". Child Custody. Law Offices of Cynthia Lazar. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Child Support Overpayments: Lawsuit Alleges State Withholds Too Much Money, Unfairly Charging Parents and U.S. Taxpayers". PR Newswire. Retrieved 3 June 2011.