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Advocates of Parental Equality (APE) for East Central Illinois


Welcome to our nonprofit  A.P.E. site!  The following is what we believe, why we meet and how we support each other. Call us at 217-649-8719 for our meeting times.
Mission Statement:  To support one another in  our efforts to provide the best possible parenting to our children that promotes the societal  principle of equality.

Declaration of Parental Equality

We, the members of the Advocates of Parental Equality (APE), hereby dedicate ourselves and our efforts to supporting each other in  the equal mother and father parenting of our children and the creation of a family law system, legislative system, and public awareness which promotes equal rights for ALL parties affected by divorce, and the breakup of a family or establishment of paternity. It is our belief  through our involvement and dedication, we can have a positive effect on the emotional and psychological well-being of children.

We believe equal, shared parenting time or joint physical custody is the optimal custody situation. Only in cases of clear maltreatment or danger should this not be the case. This is what we encourage and support in our group as much as reasonable.

We believe the best parent is both biological parents. Two capable parents spending great sums of  family money  and time hiring all kinds of custody professionals to pursuade a judge to  grant them sole custody in a custody war is  both psychologically and financially destructive to children, parents and society.

We believe   primary caretaker/breadwinner  bias should be eliminated from  our thinking, family law and from future legislation.  A mother and father are equally important to children and should not  lose equal rights to their children for the roles they fulfil in a family. Primary caretaker/bread winner bias in family law  is gradually discouraging   parents  from  wanting  to take on certain  roles when they consider  that these roles (in a divorce situation) could cause them to be reduced to being a visitor to their own child.  

We believe BOTH biological parents should be responsible for the emotional and psychological well-being of their children, as well as financially responsible.

We believe in the concept of fairness and equity in support for ALL families; and, that all children involved in a blended family should have equal rights, and do deserve equal rights and equal protection under the law.

We believe when equity is created in ourselves and  ultimately in our laws, the conflicts inherent in divorce situations dissolve and that, in the end, this is the greatest gift which we, as parents, could possibly bestow on our children and thus future society.

We believe that democracy and the two party system works well for countries as well as for families.  When one party completely dominates another party in a country or a family it becomes a dictatorship which tends to lead to internal as well as external war.  Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

We  believe  we have an obligation  to  future generations to promote peace, harmony and cooperation within ourselves, our families and ultimately within  society. We accomplish this by respectfully and humanely advocating and seeking equality at the core of society; our families.



This site and APE support group was developed in response to the devastation many caring mothers, fathers and children experience at the hands of a national  system that has a "winner take all mentality" which forces many divorcing  concerned parents to fight all out for sole custody of their own children.  APE is  dedicated to promoting change in ourselves and in challenging the culture of "Sole custody to one parent, with subservient and controlled access to non custodial parent". This approach to parental roles isolates non custodial parents  in general, so much so that some 50% of non custodial parents  lose contact with their children after relationship breakdown. In driving a parent  away from their children it has led to:
  • Colonies of single parent families,, where children have very little experience of enriched relationships with their other loving parent.
  • The State acting as a substitute parent to tens of thousands of children, with spiralling costs to the  taxpayer.
  • Elevated levels of  depression,  suicide and societal violence and infanticide.

What We Want; What Our Children Need

At  Advocates of Parental Equality (APE) we believe that the default solution after relationship breakdown should be  equally shared Joint Custody with equal social, tax, educational supports for both mothers and fathers. APE  has living, working models to prove that treating mothers and fathers with parity of esteem as parents creates a WIN-WIN-WIN outcome:

  • Children win by retaining and developing deeply loving and engaged relationships with both their mothers and fathers. Because they are not forced to take sides they gain greater security in their upbringing.
  • Mothers win because they are not left as sole custodians and effective sole guardians of their children's welfare. By sharing the parenting experience mothers share with fathers the same opportunities for personal and career development. Their level of stress is reduced, as they do not have to pursue fathers for maintenance, which mothers often say re-enlivens the bitterness and arguments, and prevents them from moving on.
    Gone too is culturally enforced martyrdom of single motherhood, and the stigmas which are sometimes attached with sole parenting or non custodial parent. Moreover, if single mothers meet other single fathers, it is likely that those fathers have themselves an involved commitment with their own children. Any new relationship is more likely to be based on an equality of expectation and resources.
  • Fathers win by having parity of esteem as parents. Instead of trying to deal with the emotional trauma of being treated as second-class parents, subservient to the desires of the mother and often repositioning their expectation of themselves and their engagement with their children, fathers can plan to rebalance their career and family life commitments for the benefit of themselves and their children. By having equal access to state child benefits, equal and positive support from the statutory services in dealing with the whole range of parenting issues, fathers will experience a release of loving energy which recognition of their role will bring and this energy will be positively available for their children. This removes the longer term trauma of future reconnections with their father and his families.
  • Extended families - grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins - will all win. No longer the embarrassment of children and their grandparents and cousins etc, when they meet in the street, in school, etc. The present discrimination in favour of maternal grandparents and extended families, while isolating the fathers side of the family, will no longer be necessary. Grandparents who are generally completely innocent and often unaware of the parents conflicts and who end up cut off as result of family separations can now be assured of secure long term relationships with their grandchildren. In this space grandparents can provide the wisdom and ease of age, the vital linkages through the family genealogy, and a comforting ear for the problems of growing children.
  • Society wins by the maintenance of the familial and communal bonds that shared parenting brings with it. Families are best able to impart communal values and to maintain a sense of good behaviour and to look out for their own, instead of abdicating to the state the day-to-day responsibility for their children. With a reduction in the exchequer spending on maintenance, the consequent reduction in spending on adversarial court hearings and costs of social workers reports, etc, taxpayer monies can then be directed into productive family support, which can benefit children and their parents.

In short, building  shared parenting in our group and our culture is about improving the Quality of Life for all of our citizens.


Dear Visitor,
For many of us, the damage of  a custody war has already been done to our children , ourselves and our relatives.  Our children have already experienced the "causulties of war".  They have seen the parents they love become bitter enemies toward each other in a natural  unenlightened effort to protect themselves and their children from the always possible legal attacks of the other parent that can turn them into visitors to their own children.     In an effort to avoid becomming  a visitor to their own children, caring parents have thrown themselves into all out  custody wars, resulting in great emotional, relational and financial ruin for everyone.  Our group is here to understand and to  help you through this. Many of us have been through this and know the feelings associated with it. The support  group is designed so that you can come and share whatever is on your mind. We are careful to keep what is said in the group in the group and not outside the group. We all learn and grow by  sharing  our deepest feelings and frustrations with people who have been there. We take care of each other so that we can take care of our children.  Our group consists of both women and men who believe that parental equality is not only good for our children but also good for our society. Our nation became great based on the notion that all people are created equal. We support all parents equally in their efforts to be loving, involved parents regardless of their gender, religion, race, social  status , age , marital status, or primary caregiver/breadwinner role.
Christopher J. Roney  LCSW, MSW   (APE  Founder)
 217-384-6889   or    217-649-8719. 
Many wars can be prevented


.We are not only for  fathers but for mothers too.  


Number of visitors since   1  May 2003:
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Father and Mother equality.
Family walking along the shore at sunset
Lets honor our differences and work together for our children
APE is dedicated to providing  group support and information to all  parents.  The goal is to explore together ways of bringing  to our children the best possible upbringing no matter what the marriage  situation is.  


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