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Chris Kennedy Story
G'day Guys,
This is what I sent to the Committee.  I am still going to try and race up yhe ETurnpkie to make it before it finishes.  If not, here is what I might have said.  They all have a copy now, as does David Bickford.
Please make every effort to be there and/or submit a testimony.
Andrew Ryan
Success Depends on Where Intention Is

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In Support of HB529   Dear Respected Members of the Family Law Committee,   My name is Andrew Ryan.  I am a Father of and Dad to three young boys - Cody (5), Dustin (4) and Trevor (2).   This is my Testimony that I am writing to you, just in case I am unable to make it to the hearing on 22 March 05.  I was in attendance for the first hearing and would have stayed all night to speak up for my children.    
I am from Australia and have been here now for 5 years.  I moved here due to my fiance` and later wife fell pregnant with my oldest son.  At the time I was still serving in the Australian Army with 4 years left till retirement.  I was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Improvised Explosive Devices Disposal Operator.  I was among the highest trained and paid Soldiers within the Military.  My fiancé` was to move to Australia whilst I completed my 20 years and we would decide what our options were after that.  When she found out she was pregnant, she changed everything and told me to move here or never see my son.  I did.  I gave up hundreds of thousands of Dollars in the process.  To me it was a no brainer.  During the next few years we had 2 more children, and she decided I was no longer required and had me physically removed via a restraining order after an argument.  I have lived in my van, on couches and hotels.  I have now purchased property that I am struggling to keep due to the current system.  I am also about to lose my home in Australia in order to fight for my children's rights to have me in their lives.  
The Bill
This HB529 goes a long way to re-establish in writing, to make it plain to those who choose to manipulate the law, that both parents deserve to have a fair and equal chance at being in their children's lives.  If we are truly about equality, then there should be no opposition to this bill! I heard testimony last week from a lawyer stating that 70% of his practice was divorce related.  He was in opposition to this bill because he didn't like the wording of the "presumption".  Why??  His response was not clear and very hard to comprehend.  If he was honest he would have stated he is in opposition as it will reduce his income considerably.   Another mother of six testified that she is in fear of what might happen if she were to divorce her husband.  She said he is a great Father, and that  if she ever did divorce him that she would ensure that  he was able to spend quality time with their children.  Her statement alone proves that women understand they have real power in divorce and they are scared to lose that control.   I see everyday on the news of a parent male or female, killing their children and sometimes killing themselves.  These tragedies could well be avoided with a system that isn't so adversarial.  This Bill, HB 529, would go a long way to reducing the adversarial nature of divorce, and in fact, would reduce divorce and save lives.  Why would anyone oppose that?   Studies show, and it seems everyone agrees, that Fathers are essential in the better development of children.  They say that the constitution provides equal treatment under the law.  If that is the case, why are 90% or more of custody issues being ruled in favor of the Mothers?  This bill, HB529, which will see Judges or Marital Masters, give written reasons for how and why they made the decision they made, will ensure all issues in each case have been addressed.  The parental plans make each parent have a good hard look at what they can and can't do in practice, and adjust according to the children's needs.  If by doing that a divorce trial becomes negated, aren't the parents  better able to get along, save thousands in legal fees, and lessen the impact on their children?  Why then is there opposition to this bill?  
I am a hard working man and I have given of myself to help others all my life.  I am now dedicated to my 3 wonderful sons whom I owe to fight for their rights, THEIR RIGHTS to have me as a steadying influence in their lives.  I also fight for their rights to one day not be put in the emotionally and financially devastating position I have found myself in.  I have found a strength in myself that I didn't know I had, to so far cope with the horrible injustices I have faced in the past few years, and it is not over yet. I love my children and they love me. Please give us a chance to be in each others lives - no-one will lose by supporting this bill, but everyone loses if we don't.  This is why I take the position I do.  Please Pass this Bill.   I have attached some statistics to show what Fatherless homes can do to aid in destroying our society.  Society must NOT allow this trend to continue.   Thank you,   Andrew Ryan 15 Merrimack St Nashua, NH 03064 (603) 817-3963  


It’s a Fact
Here’s why:
· 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census).
· 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
· 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
(Source: Center for Disease Control).
· 80% of rapist motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes. (Source:
Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, pp. 403-26).
· 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. (Source: National Principals Assoc. Report on the State of High Schools).
· 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. Of Corrections, 1992).
These statistics translate to mean that children from fatherless homes are:
· 5 times more likely to commit suicide
· 32 times more likely to run away
· 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
· 14 times more likely to commit rape
· 9 times more likely to drop out of high school
· 20 times more likely to end up in prison
“There is a fundamental liberty right guaranteed to both parents by the 14th Amendment. This is the right to the care, custody, and nurture of their children. According to the Supreme Court of the
United States: “Absent a Compelling State Interest of harm or potential harm to the child, the State may not intervene in the privacy of family life.””
Overall, research studies show that children of joint custodians are better adjusted than children of sole custodians on each of the following measures: general adjustment; family relations; self-esteem; emotional adjustment; behavioral
adjustment; and divorce-specific adjustment.
Another benefit of Joint Physical Custody is that it improves child support compliance. Researchers have found a positive correlation between the frequency of a parent’s contact with a child and the payment of child support. That is to say, the more frequent, regular and flexible the time a parent is permitted to spend with his child, the more likely he is to meet his child support obligation in full and on time. In terms of voluntary compliance, fathers who have little or no contact with their children after a divorce pay only about 34% of their child support, while fathers with regular contact pay 85% or more of theirs.