Shared Parenting Legislation

Utah – A new law which went into effect this week encourages the state courts to award equal child custody following divorce or separation. House Bill 35, sponsored by Representative V. Lowry Snow of St. George, combats the outdated family court tradition of awarding sole custody to one parent – usually the mother – about 80 percent of the time. The bill creates amendments for an optional parent-time schedule of 145 overnights, sets holiday schedules and provides for specific elections by the noncustodial parent.The National Parents Organization applauds Utah for being one of the first states int he nation to pass shared parenting. It’s even mentioned in the Wall Street Journal story, “Big Shift Pushed in Custody Disputes.”

Read more: KCSG Television – Utah s new custody law aimed at giving both parents equal responsibility
MainePeople who feel they have been treated unfairly by Maine’s family court system Tuesday urged the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee to change how judges decide custody issues. Two bills — LD 346 and LD 642would require judges to consider the value of having both parents involved in the lives of their children following a divorce. That would be an addition to the current legal standard of making decisions based on what is in the “best interest of the child.
Read more: Click Maine Shared Parenting News
Nebraska – Divorced fathers made what’s become an annual appeal to state lawmakers Thursday for more than every other weekend with their kids.As they have on at least eight previous occasions, aggrieved fathers asked the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee to advance a bill that would require Nebraska judges to order more parenting time for noncustodial parents. ”Under Nebraska’s current system, district court judges decide custody and parenting time in contested cases. The best interest of the children caught in divorce is supposed to be their primary motive in deciding parenting plans.
Read more: Nebraska Shared Parenting

Tennessee – enacted a law requiring judges to give parents the maximum parenting time possible.  Here’s the entire text of the bill as enacted:

Section 1.  Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 36-6-106(a), is amended by adding the following language after the first sentence: In taking into account the child’s best interest, the court shall order a custody arrangement that permits both parents to enjoy the maximum participation possible in the life of the child consistent with the factors set out below, the location of the residences of the parents, the child’s need for stability and all other relevant factors.

Section 2.  This act shall take effect upon becoming law, the public welfare requiring it. See more on this story by clicking here

South DakotaIn Pierre, the Senate State Affairs Committee agreed to send to the Senate floor, SB 125. This bill deals with the delicate, tricky, and usually very stressful issue of parenting the kids after a divorce. For more on this story click here.