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The purpose of this wiki is to help make Shared Parenting - Joint Physical Custody a reality in the State of Minnesota. In 2008 the Minnesota legislature asked the judiciary to create a committee to study the effects of Joint Physical Custody. The study group was biased in its makeup and the results of the study are biased against the presumption of Joint Physical Custody.


Who were some of the study group members and what were their biases? There is more information linked to each name below, but here is a summary of some of their associations and views:

Judge Schellhas-Chair of domestic violence steering committee in 2006-2007 and Lead Judge, Fourth Judicial District Domestic Violence Court, August 1, 2006 - 2007.
Jeff Edleson-Domestic abuse researcher, but also is heavily involved in advocacy for funding for domestic abuse programs, which brings into question his credibility as a social scientist.
James Street, Esq.
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
More than 75% of clients of SMRLS are female, probably more than 95% in family law cases. Also note that one of their priorities is "protection from domestic abuse."
Pamela Waggoner said in a news story, "... that it's a bad idea to make a judge start with this presumption in child custody cases."
Liz Richards, Esq.
Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
The Coalition always testifies against joint physical custody at legislative hearings. They openly discriminate against male victims of domestic abuse.

Paul Masiarchen
Heads Minnesota Fathers and Families, which supports fathers to encourage them to pay child support.
The group has an official stand against the presumption of shared parenting.

Molly Olson
Appears to be the only advocate for the presumption of shared parenting in the study group. Heads the Center for Parental Responsibility, a group that works for family justice in the courts and legislature. http://www.cpr-mn.org/

Chad Barthelemy
Was added at the last minute in an attempt to give balance to the group. He is for a presumption of joint physical custody.

Presumptive Joint Custody Study Group
JUDGES
Hon. Kevin Eide
Hon. Heidi Schellhas

ACADEMIC
Jeff Edleson
Dr. Glen Palm

ATTORNEYS
James Street
Ben Henschel
Pamela Waggoner

CHILDRENS’ ADVOCACY
Irene Opsahl

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Carolyn Schworer

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY
Liz Richards, Esq.

FATHER’S SUPPORT NETWORK
Paul Masiarchin

GRANDPARENT SUPPORT NETWORK
Sharon J. Durken

PARENT ADVOCACY
Molly Olson