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In 1997, Florida Representative Randy Ball introduced reform legislation in the Florida House of Representatives. In the preamble to that bill, which Pete Wilson of PWR wrote, Representative Ball wrote to the Legislature,
“As you review this proposal, please keep in mind that there is one principal factor why these changes are being recommended for Florida – children benefit from the meaningful involvement of both parents in their lives. As you know, Florida employs a system for divorce called ‘shared parental responsibility’. On the surface, this system seems viable, but experience has taught us otherwise. Shared parental responsibility where one parent is left with huge child support obligations, minimal, meaningless and un-enforced visitation and no recourse unless costly lawyers can be afforded is a system doomed to failure. Our children are living proof of it.”
Representative Ball’s proposal to eliminate “shared parental responsibility” did not pass the Legislature, but it was a start. It led to a success in 1998.
In 1998, working with Representative Ball, the NCFC, and other groups, we helped with the passage of the “Visitation Reform Act” of 1998. This was not a wholesale revamping of the system, but step forward.
In 2000, and again in 2001, we mounted a letter, email, and fax campaign against the candidacy of J. Preston Silvernail, who wanted Governor Bush to appoint him to the Fifth District Court of Appeals. We were successful.
In 2004, Iowa activists worked with their legislature and passed reform legislation.
Along the way, we have had some successes in individual cases. While these are extremely important (particularly to the parties), they are efforts to treat the symptom rather than the cause. In June 2004, one of our members had a great success in a hearing in Miami.
Parents Without Rights is a volunteer organization, dedicated to Children’s Rights in Florida. We do not charge membership fees and rely upon donations to pay for this website. Please make a donation to the cause. Any amount, small or large, will be appreciated. Thank you for your kindness.
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