What You Can Do To

Make a Difference!




Steps EVERY individual can and should take



1)       Write your story: 1) first version can be as long as you want, 2) second copy must be reduced to two pages to appeal to your legislators, and the media. Know your case better than anyone! (CPR volunteers can help). Your story is so overwhelming with so many details, it is easy to forget. It is also difficult to know what is important to who (attorney, county, judge, etc). Documenting your story in writing will help save you time and money. When you visit your attorney and slowly try tell the story, you are charged for this time. It is more efficient if your attorney can read all about it. You can also turn in your story to your legislator and media.

2)       Become more complete in your documentation:

a.       Organize all your paperwork, legal documents in a three ring binder by date or topic (divorce, custody, child support, modifications, OFP, etc)

b.       Save everything from the county – even the envelopes to show the date the item was mailed

c.        Tape record all telephone conversations with you ex

3)       Contact your legislator – make an appointment, help them understand how current law has negatively impacted your life and therefore the life of your children (CPR person can go with you) … find out how willing they are to support the RIGHT family law reform. How will they vote?

4)       READ MN Law Chapter 518 and familiarize yourself with the Minnesota Statute that affects you: The entire Chapter 518 applies to child support, and 518.551 specifically applies to the guidelines.

5)       READ MN Law Chapter 256 if your case has any public assistance attached to it

6)       READ MN Law Chapter 257 if your case is a non-marital paternity or ROP (recognition of parentage) case

7)       Contact your county commissioner – find out when public testimony will occur in your county regarding the county budget; get scheduled to testify; (notify CPR to testify on your behalf), OR meet with your commissioners one-one-one.

8)       Learn how to file formal complaints against anyone in the system who has caused you harm and seemed to violate the law or ethics as you know them:

a.       GAL (Guardian ad Litem)

b.       Judge/Referee/Magistrate

c.        other

9)       Contact the media: local newspapers, metro newspapers, magazines, radio, magazine, anyone and everyone who will listen. Write letters to the paper … do whatever you can to spread the word on the injustice.

10)   Volunteer on a CPR committee where you can maximize your talents based on the time you have available. You get to know the “inner circle” of people in CPR who have a wealth of knowledge to share and for you to learn from.

11)   Become a member of CPRget your name on the CPR “interested citizen” list (our disciples) to ensure you get weekly update emails and help us mobilize people into a large “army”; support the effort to help finance minimal operational needs

12)   Make 6 contacts at CPRso you have people you can call and ask for advice and recommendations for relief in your case – most non-custodial parents look back at all the mistakes they have made and they are eager to share what they have learned to people new in the system to help others prevent mistakes.

13)   Make sure you ask a lot of questions from others who have gone through the system, and be aware of the most common mistakes that others going through this make, which  include (see information is power brochure – make this change….):

a.        Trust that the system and judges will be fair – instead, know that the system is very unfair and biased.

b.        Don’t document everything – don’t save and file everything for easy access and reference

c.        Didn’t fight for full custody from the beginning – gave up custody too willingly to become a “visitor” or left only with “parenting time.”

d.       Didn’t argue constitutional issues from the beginning

                                 i.            To parental rights

                               ii.            To privacy rights

                             iii.            To due process (failed to challenge assignment of rights on the IV-D application)

e.        Don’t file a 1301 d objection right from the beginning

f.         Bad attorney decisions:

                                 i.            Didn’t make sure the attorney was really fighting for you and allowed the attorney to just push you through the system without fighting for your parental rights

                               ii.            Expected the attorney to somehow know more about your case than you do

                             iii.            Didn’t make sure the attorney understands IV-D

g.       Didn’t challenge the OFP within 10 days and it became albatross forever

h.       Didn’t know your legal rights according to the law

i.         Didn’t make a partial child support payment the months when the full payment was financially impossible

j.         Wanted to “just get things over with” no matter what the negative effect on you

k.        Challenge the subject matter jurisdiction on IV-D cases when there is no compelling state interest

l.         Unprepared for Court:

                                 i.            Fail to proactively provide proper affidavit of work history – its not just a matter of the last few paychecks – your work entire work history is relevant to prevent you from being labeled voluntarily underemployed, which results in misapplication of  imputed income by the county

                               ii.            Think that if you go to court and “tell” the judge your side of the story, everything will get heard and the judge will “know” you are right and make a “fair” decision … instead, you must know that what you say is meaningless unless you have some kind of written proof and documented evidence to support your claim.

m.      Didn’t share your problems and issues with other people – who might be able to help lead you to someone who can actually help – kept problems to yourself

n.       Didn’t file a perjury charge when the ex lied about you and you have evidence to prove the lies

o.        Didn’t file a charge of Deprivation of Parental Rights (which is a felony) when the ex prevented you from your visitation with your child(ren).

p.       Don’t find the proper balance of communication with the caseworker: the case worker is not your friend, but you can’t treat them like the enemy or they will retaliate against you

q.        Don’t take arrears seriously and don’t understand the power of the government to enforce the obligation and initiate extremely punitive measures

r.        Don’t always have a third person (preferably grandparent or girlfriend) with you whever you have contact with a potentially resentful ex…you need to witness so you aren’t accused of something you didn’t do…when it becomes your word against hers..the woman always wins.

s.        Other? Share what you have learned to grow this list for others.

14)   Ask for help from CPR – as we currently juggle a long waiting list of people needing guidance in their individual case; we recommend you be persistent in your efforts to get assistance – help us know how we can help you! (we are growing and evolving to provide the services you need) … email repeatedly to ensure your needs get met

15)   Let CPR know when your hearings are and we will most on the website as a COURT WATCH – the more people there for you the better. Attend other people’s hearings as well to help increase your comfort level in the courtroom, so it is not so intimidating.

16)   Sign up for the yahoo family law reform group as an informative and therapeutic tool to learn from other people

17)   Keep tracking the updates on the CPR websitewe are building a powerful information source – hoping to provide a one-stop shop for all issues

a.       When you find things you think others should know about, email info@cpr-mn.org and we will make sure it gets on the website for others

18)   File a 42 USC 1301 d Objection in your case

19)   Keep coming back it works – Attend general monthly meetings and BRING PEOPLE WITH YOU: The general meeting is for non-custodial parents, friends, family members, paternal grandparents, second wives and girlfriends, employers, legislators, and anyone else who is concerned for the non-custodial parent and the impact on the fractured family. The meetings are always held the third Sunday night of every month. Spread the word – help us reach our 5000 members needed to effectuate legislative change.

20)   Continue to tell us what you need for CPR to be an organization that will effectuate change in a way that is helpful to you!






“Having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this He set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14


CPR Vision Statement: An inter-denominational, faith-based, bi-partisan, gender-neutral, tax-exempt public policy and educational organization to protect the civil rights of both parents to protect the children.

CPR Organization Mission: Bold advocacy, practical education, and compassionate support, through thoughtful, thorough, and accurate analysis that leads people to responsible action that influences less government and protects the rights and responsibilities of both parents, to encourage healthy development and best interests of children, to resolve differences so that fractured families will be strengthened.


CPR educational booklets are updated regularly. If you have suggestions on how to improve this brochure, please notify us. For current release of this brochure, visit our website.

CPR educational booklets do not purport to give legal advice. The information contained herein is general in nature; individual circumstances will always vary. We recommend you consult an attorney for legal advice and legal representation.

CPR is in the process of applying for non-profit status, CPR is currently under umbrella of tax-exempt 501 c(3) organization, Providence House


ã 2004 may be copied by permission only – derivative works or reproductions are a violation of copyright without prior authorization from CPR




Advocating Change: Your First Steps

Educational Booklet: MD #04-01







The purpose of this informational series to help you position and present yourself in a way that will result in a greatly likelihood of the result you want. This series will help position you to make a difference for your personal case and for the cause as a whole, as you help to advocate for change to prevent others from having to go through what you have. This is a series of empowerment – how to take your energies, time, and talents and help facilitate social change.




Prepared By:


Center For Parental Responsibility

P.O. Box 130776

Roseville, MN 55113


CPR Voicemail: 651/490-9277

Website: cpr-mn.org

Email: info@cpr-mn.org




Latest Update: January 17, 2004