TOOL OF THE DAY: Testifying before a legislative committee.

CATEGORY: Family Law Legislation

So many people showed up to testify yesterday that it overwhelmed the committee! The chair, Rep. Dutton stated that there were 17 people who showed up to testify and that if all of them took 20 minutes that we would be there for another 7 hours. Many of us said that “we are happy to stay.” Over 17 people testified in favor of the Equal Parental Rights Bill in Texas HB2363 and only one person testified against.

And I bet you can guess who that one person might be. Yep, a lawyer. Not just any lawyer though. The head lawyer for the Family Law Foundation. She testified against the Bill stating that the current family code in Texas already provides for almost equal time to the parents. She also testified that this was about the children and not the parents.

Children just like adults have a right to be free from unwarranted government interference into their private lives. What the government does with the best interest of the child standard is impose socialist ideas and all of the negative consequences of socialism onto children and their families. The best interest of the child standard is not at all about children. It is about government power imposed on a free society.

Who else testified? Many fathers with The Father’s Rights Movement of Texas, a mother/grandmother (flew in from another State), a custody evaluator, and Ron and Sherry Palmer with Fix Family Courts testified before the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee.

Many of the father’s brought up the challenges that they have faced when trying to protect their rights and time to be with their child. (Click on the link below to hear them testify.)

The representatives questions seemed to focus on how this would work logistically with school schedules.

Here is the link to view yesterday’s Juvenile Justice & Family Issues live video broadcast of the testimony of the parents who came to support the passage of HB2363 sponsored by Representative Pena.

Go to 4:53:20 time marker to hear the testimony on this Bill.

First Rep. Pena introduces the Bill. Then the testimony begins with Andrew McCraw of El Paso (Noncustodial Parents Organization).

Our strategy was:

Address as much as possible through the combination of all of the speakers. It was my job to listen for objections and to address at the very end. They limited us to three minutes per person. We thought that they were not going to limit the time so many of us had planned for having more time.

After the session, we all met with Rep. Pena’s Chief of Staff and they made changes to the Bill last night to address the school objection that Rep. Riddle had during the hearing. So even though I ran out of time and didn’t get to address that objection specifically in my testimony, Maricela, Rep. Pena’s Chief of Staff made sure that got taken care of afterwards.

The opposition’s strategy was this:

Inflame the lawmakers by making them think that 50/50 custody causes:

1. chaos in children’s lives

2. disruption in children’s lives by shuffling from home to home

Both of those were addressed by those “for the Bill” in their testimonies. Watch the video of the testimonies at the link above.

What you can do

Please then go to this page, “Protecting Parent-Child Relationships”, and contact your House Representative and ask them to put pressure on the House Reps that are part of the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues committee to pass the Bill through to the House floor. There is a letter on that page that you can download and e-mail to your representative to help you with this.

Please write to me at if you noticed that other objections were not addressed and if you have anything else you want to communicate to us regarding this Bill.

CBS Rustin Wright Texas Father's Rights Legislative Fight 2015 April 15

Call Rep. Debbie Riddle’s office at 512-463-0572

Call Rep. Toni Rose’s office at 512-463-0664

Call Rep. Scott Sanford’s office at 512-463-0356

A legislative Aid will answer and tell her/him to please pass along your wishes to the representative that you would like them to pass the bill through committee to the house floor right away.

HOW LOUD CAN YOU MAKE YOUR VOICE? Rustin Wright’s interview has gotten 4.1 thousand shares on Facebook in one week! So many people called in to Rep. Dutton’s office (over 200) that parents are being asked to call the other representatives on the committee now!

Rep James WhiteRep. White has now co-sponsored the Bill! Okay that’s two committee members on your side. You need more to get this Bill through committee. This means you need to make some more phone calls.

Call Rep. Riddle, Rep. Rose, and Rep. Sanford NOW and ask them to please support and pass the equal parenting bill through (HB2363).

Call Rep. Debbie Riddle’s office at 512-463-0572

Call Rep. Toni Rose’s office at 512-463-0664

Call Rep. Scott Sanford’s office at 512-463-0356

Here is what a local Texas attorney called and told Rep. Debbie Riddle’s office:

“My name is Randy Hahn. I’m a Texas-licensed attorney. I’m calling Rep Riddle to respectfully request that she please pass the equal parenting bill, HB2363, through committee tomorrow to the house floor.

This bill is so important to fix the unconstitutional division of children from their fathers. It is in the best interest of children to maximize parenting time with both parents. Children are at a higher risk for teen pregnancy, crime, truancy, poor academic performance, and many other negatives when their parenting-time with their fathers is not maximized. This bill will do so much to encourage and strengthen marriage and families, provide the most healthy environment for children of separated & divorced parents, and to help minimize the unnecessary conflict and cost that occurs at divorce.

70% of males age 20-34 in the U.S. are not married because divorce has made marriage too risky for men, and the marriage rate continues to decline because of this unfair risk.

Texas can better protects its citizens rights, encourage a healthy parenting environment for kids, and help lead the way along with other states who are also implementing equal parenting.

Please don’t delay doing the right thing for Texas’ children. This bill will continue to be introduced until this injustice is fixed. Speaking both as a child whose father was marginalized at divorce, and now as a divorced father myself, my children desperately need me as much as possible in their life, as do all children who need their fit fathers.

Thank you very much for taking my call.”

The aide then asked me a couple of questions about why the current law is not working. I explained that only 5-10% of cases go to litigation, and that some parents are using legally bullying during negotiation to reduce the other parent’s parenting-time. Riddle’s aide was receptive to my call and thanked me for calling.” (Randy says feel free to repeat this statement.)

If you are not sure what the Bill is about you can watch the video recording at the post here: DAILY TOOL: Testifying Before a Legislative Committee | Fix Family Courts

Thank you for taking action! The future generation will thank you for stepping up and fixing this and not leaving the mess to their generation.

Picture Fathers and Ron and Sherry w Gilbert Pena 2015 April 15 Capitol