National Parents Organization

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National Parents Organization
Founded 1998
Founders Ned Holstein
John Cristofano
Phil Clendenning
John Maguire
Type 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization
Focus Shared parenting, parental and gender equality, protection of human and property rights
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Ned Holstein, Founder and Chair
Slogan “Preserving the bond between parents and children”
Website National Parents Organization
Formerly called
Fathers & Families
Families and Fathers

National Parents Organization, until 2013 known as Fathers & Families or Families and Fathers, was founded in 1998[1] by four fathers, Ned Holstein, John Cristofano, Phil Clendenning and John Maguire, with the goal of promoting shared parenting in every state. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable and educational organization, National Parents Organization focuses on issues of custody, finances, and parental alienation in order to promote gender equality in family court and make shared parenting the norm across the nation.


National Parents Organization has three core principles: shared parenting, parental equality and respect for human and property rights.[2][not in citation given]

The Board of Directors and officers are: Ned Holstein, Massachusetts, Founder and Chairman of the Board; Elizabeth J. Barton, New York; David Brasington, Massachusetts, Secretary of the Board; Ronald Lee Fleming, Massachusetts; Robert A. Franklin, Texas, Journalist for National Parents Organization; Benny Hau, California; Thomas C. Meyers, Massachusetts; Samuel D. Perry, Massachusetts; and Bruce Rogers, Massachusetts.

National Parents Organization sees a problem not in the views held by the public regarding shared parenting, but in the ways in which the legal system hampers equal treatment of both parents in our family courts; as such, the National Parents Organization’s approach to combat these issues is to advance the following strategic objectives:

  • Lobbying and advocacy: National Parents Organization seeks to reform laws both at the state and the national level to encourage shared parenting by working with legislatures, the courts, the media, persons of influence and advocacy groups, and parents and extended families of children concerned.
  • Education: National Parents Organization seeks to engage social, local, and national media to raise awareness about the realities of our family court system The organization strives to bring attention to the negative impact current practices have on our families and highlight the reasons reform would benefit children. National Parents Organization also promotes published research on parenting.
  • Building affiliates: National Parents Organization works to develop strong volunteer leadership and affiliates in order to grow its national membership, providing its affiliates with the resources necessary to educate legislators, inform media, and increase awareness in their local communities.

National Parents Organization relies heavily on its affiliates—a community of activists working to further shared parenting—across the country. To this end, National Parents Organization is building a national office to provide its activists with a variety of support necessary for local advocacy and lobbying efforts.

Since its founding, the National Parents Organization has achieved the following milestones in the fight for shared parenting:

  • Placed Massachusetts on the brink of passing a new custody statute favoring shared parenting;[3][4][5][6]


  • Working task forces in Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts to document the importance of and need for shared parenting;[8][9][10]
  • Won equitable changes in Massachusetts child support guidelines, for a second time, providing better care for our children;[11]
  • Passed alimony reform in Connecticut, setting the stage for alimony reform in Massachusetts;
  • Backing military child custody legislation;
  • Supported Hawaii's HB2163, the Parental Parity Bill, legislation to allow and encourage parents to play a meaningful and equal role in the lives of their children, without damaging custody battles;[12]
  • Placed a new limit on California spousal support, and opposed AB414, a bill that would perpetuate unacceptably high child support and inappropriately conflate child support with spousal support;[13]
  • Helped to pass military parent child custody legislation in Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, and Nevada, bringing the total to 37 states;
  • Introduced legislation protecting men and children against paternity fraud in Washington and California;
  • Promoted member involvement in child support guidelines revisions in Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas;[14]
  • Provided divorced and separated parents, along with the babysitters and nannies that work with them, with childcare tips;[15][16]
  • Promoted Utah bill HB318, legislation designed to uphold parents' right to a jury trial before termination of parental rights;[17][18]
  • Promoted Utah bill SB63, legislation that would allow states to share paternity claim filings and locate unwed fathers who want to be notified of adoption proceedings;[19]
  • Appeared in Salt Lake City Weekly in a piece about parential alienation;[20]

Name change[edit]

Formerly called Families and Fathers and Fathers & Families, National Parents Organization changed its name in 2013 to emphasize the gender neutrality of its mission.[21][22]


  1. ^ "Nonprofit Report for National Parents Organization Inc.". 
  2. ^ "FindLaw - Cases and Codes". 
  3. ^ "Ned Holstein: Divorced parents should share parenting". Newton TAB. 
  4. ^ Sam Heller. "New Legislation Would Even The Ground Between Divorced Moms and Dads". 
  5. ^ "Shared-parenting bill will benefit kids". 
  6. ^ "Bill will benefit children". 
  7. ^ "Massachusetts custody proposal rightly stresses time with both parents". Boston Globe. 
  8. ^ Jonathan Ellis, USA TODAY (27 January 2014). "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome". 
  9. ^ Sam Heller. "New Legislation Would Even The Ground Between Divorced Moms and Dads". 
  10. ^ "Push grows for equal-time child custody". 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Parents should have equal rights – when it comes to their kids - Hawaii Reporter". 
  13. ^ "AB 414 Assembly Bill - Bill Analysis". 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "9 Tips for Hiring a Caregiver When You're Divorced". 
  16. ^ "10 Tips for Working for Divorced Parents". 
  17. ^ Marjorie Cortez (21 February 2014). "Bill that would provide jury trials in parental rights termination proceedings advances to House". 
  18. ^ "MINUTES OF THE HOUSE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE". Utah State Capitol Complex. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Disposable Dad". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  21. ^ Super User. "Fathers & Families Files Lawsuit to Stop New Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines". 
  22. ^ "massnonprofit news ::". 

External links[edit]