Children's Rights

What rights do children have?

In the the 19th Century, children remained with the father mostly because the wife died in childbirth. In the mostly agrarian society, this was not as much about chattel and property rights as about how the framers of the U.S. Constitution could help keep the family, the foundation of a democratic-republic, together.

During the 20th Century, the tender years doctrine turned over the control of the children to the mother in divorce. This reflected--in large part--the effects of the industrial age upon the family structure. The father was often working in the coal mines and the factories, litterally, putting life and limb on the line for the benefit of his family. Though the father was absent--and missed--he was not an inconsequential person in the family.

At the end of the 20th Century and into the beginning of the 21st, no fault divorce laws permitted one parent to unilaterally destroy the family and the children's relationship with the expelled parent. Children, who were once to be seen; not heard, once farmhands and the care-takers of the elderly; are now the spoils of divorce that entitle the custodial parent to a generation of bounty from the inconsequential non-custodial parent. So...have children ever had rights?

What is the Children's Rights Council. This organization is one of my favorites. Find out how their unique style of addressing systemic problems through incremental changes in the law appear to be the only way to change the attitudes of the public >> CRC

Meet some of my good friends who have had equally harrowing experiences with Hawaii's Family Courts. CRC Hawaii is working hard to address some of the many flaws in our family laws that permit children to be used as weapons in divorce. CRC

Here is the CRC Children's Bill of Rights.

For the child's benefit, CRC:

  • advocates a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting in divorce custody orders
  • believes in balanced and comprehensive child support: financial, emotional, and physical
  • works to transform the typical adversarial divorce process into one of conciliation and mediation
  • favors parenting education and school-based programs for children at risk
  • believes two parents and the kinship network are the best first line of defense

First and foremost, the National Fatherhood Initiative's mission is "to improve the well-being of children." Scot Cunningham, a Work-Family Balance Specialist with NFI, says the formula for fathers is simple and three-fold. A father must be 1) involved, 2) responsible, and 3) committed. He said that where a parent exhibits only two of these characteristics, he or she is not taking full advantage of the opportunity to engage your children to have a full and fulfilling lifetime with them. Check out the fabulous resources on NFI's web site. CRC

April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. PAAO is the foremost national organization raising awareness for children who have been alienated from their "other parent". "Parental Alienation is a form of Child Abuse." Sponsor, Donate, Contact these caring people who want to help our kids. Mark your calendar, April 25th, as Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

More to come...