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House Bill 528 received bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans in Kentucky’s legislature. The House of Representatives passed it with an 81-2 vote, while the Senate gave unanimous approval. Gov. Matt Bevin signed it into law in late April. This historic piece of legislation will specifically benefit African-American families.

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A sad consequence that is endured with alarming frequency by our nation’s military and first responder communities is to find that their service is often used against them during separation or divorce proceedings, resulting in the imposition of onerous parenting plans in family court.

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According to RT America's broadcast, about half of all American marriages end in divorce with kids caught in the middle. But just how fair are the courts when it comes to custody battles? Holland discusses this with Dr. Ned Holstein, the founder and chairman of the National Parents Organization.

The full broadcast can be viewed here with Holstein appearing at the 14-minute mark.

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More than one in four fathers in the United States who have children 18 or younger now lives apart from their children, according to Pew. 

A movement is growing toward shared parenting or at least collegial “co-parenting” that recognizes the importance of having two parents in children's lives. And in states like Virginia and Kentucky, legislation was recently passed to encourage joint custody.

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A day like Father’s Day allows everyone to pause from their hectic lives, slow down and celebrate an incredible gift that we too often take for granted in our daily lives: family. This year in Virginia, thanks to our legislators and Governor, we have even more reason to celebrate. 

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This Father’s Day, we have even more to celebrate than usual: Gov. Matt Bevin recently signed House Bill 528 into law, which will take effect later this month. It’s the first law of its kind to give a child of divorce/separation a presumption of joint custody and shared parenting time when both parents are fit caregivers.

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Bretta Z. Lewis has seen her share of custody cases in 18 years as a family law attorney.

Some of her clients think the courts favor mothers over fathers. Some mothers think their chances of getting custody are slim because they don’t make enough money.

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Host Kristi Slaughter interviews National Parents Organization of Virginia's Christian Paasch on the shared parenting bill that will become law in Virginia.

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Further, Kentucky politicians’ pride for being the only shared parenting state probably will be very short-lived. Many states are considering strengthening their joint custody laws. In fact, Alabama and Iowa’s Senates have both already passed this year stronger shared parenting bills than Kentucky’s landmark law. Kentucky’s law excludes parents who are found unfit based on a “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, the court will not award a parent joint custody if it believes there is a 51 percent or greater chance the parent is unfit. The Alabama and Iowa (and soon many others I’m sure) bills award shared parenting unless the court believes the parent is unfit based on “clear and convincing evidence,” which is much higher.

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The Bluegrass state's law will help children nationwide in several ways. First, new shared parenting bills will be easier to pass elsewhere now that the precedent is set. Kentucky's law will also touch other states as military parents flow to and from the state.

Our country's military families serving at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell will be among the first to benefit. Interracial children will benefit too. "African Americans are more likely to be treated unfairly in family court. The new shared parenting law will give minority parents and children fairer legal outcomes," said Jason Griffith, the Kentucky National Parents Organization's Minority Outreach Director.

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