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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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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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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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Mothers are a critical part of our American society and of families. Importantly though, as a society, we must recognize that women and men together are indispensable partners to our country’s most valuable treasure: our children. We need to celebrate our children’s parents — both of them — as often as possible.

Still, in this modern era, people are often surprised to learn just how often courts operate with 1950s assumptions and routinely favor one parent over the other in instances of divorce or separation. Astonishingly, sole custody is awarded to one parent about 83 percent of the time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, thus creating a confrontational dynamic of winner and loser/visitor.

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