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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 14, 2019 12:54 PM
From: Representative Susan C. Helm
To: All House members
Subject: Equality in Parenting Time
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to promote true gender equality in custody determinations, and protect the right of children to continue to have both loving and fit parents meaningfully involved in their lives following a separation or divorce

The legislation amends the child custody law to codify the presumption that a child’s best interests are served when they spend equal time with each parent and removes language that presupposes the “custodial and noncustodial parent” model of split custody.

Custody plans that allow children to see one of their parents – typically their father - only one day a week and every other weekend undermine this fundamental relationship during the child’s crucial development years. Research shows that, except in rare cases, that children do best if both parents share in the day-to-day responsibilities of raising children. Children with two actively involved parents do better in school, are less likely to suffer abuse or neglect, and are less likely to become involved with drugs and other high-risk behaviors. Equally shared parenting is also linked to higher rates of voluntary child support compliance and lower rates of parental alienation.

Introduced as HB1397