With his usual flair for presenting complex data in a form all can grasp and understand, Joe Sorge quickly made the case for how home and work life in the United States have changed dramatically yet our family laws and our family law courts and child support guidelines have remained stuck in the past. Modern family roles and structures have evolved, yet the laws have not.
A highlight of the conference was Malin Bergstrom, PhD, a developmental psychologist with the Division of Reproductive Health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Bergstrom and her colleagues have completed a study of the well-being of every (176,000) 12-15-year-old child in Sweden in order to ascertain the effects of family structure on the children. Children in intact families perform better on a wide variety of measures of physical health, mental health, and educational outcomes than do the children of divorce. Children of divorce whose parents share their care equally do better on all those measures than do the children of single parents.
The other striking piece of her presentation was that Bergstrom stated that the legal reform came first; followed by social change. Obviously, this confirms National Parents Organization’s work and strategy.