Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Missouri Child Custody Bill Promotes Equal Sharing

From KCUR:

A bill being heard this week by a Missouri legislative committee promotes shared parenting – a flexible arrangement in which children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent after separation or divorce.

The legislation proposes adding language to the state’s child custody law to emphasize that the best interest of the child is equal access to both parents – a change that would encourage judges to pay more attention to research on the best interest of children.

Dr. Ned Holstein, president of the National Parents Organization, says numerous studies have shown in recent years that children do not fare as well in “sole custody” or “primary custody” arrangements and that shared custody needs to be emphasized whenever it is possible.

The best custody arrangements, says Holstein, are those in which parents rotate responsibilities, typically on alternate weeks.

But he says nationally the typical custody arrangement is to place the children with one parent about 80 to 85 percent of the time with the other parent only spending time with the children a few days a month.

Holstein also says setting a standard shared custody model will reduce the number of nasty custody battles.

“Many of the parents who are warring,” he says, “are warring precisely because what the courts set up is a fight, where they say one parent will win and the other parent will lose."

Read more here.

 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2016/02/missouri-child-custody-bill-promotes-equal-sharing.html

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Comments

This is impressive. It would certainly be interesting if New York were to adopt a bill like this! Are there limitations set in place if spending more time with one parent is not in the children's best interest, such as if a parent has a drinking problem, or a criminal history? I'll have to read through the bill this weekend and check it out.

Posted by: Rachel Weisman | Feb 17, 2016 12:34:38 PM

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