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NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION | PRESS RELEASE
January 9, 2018


NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION URGES KANSAS LAWMAKERS TO MOVE SHARED PARENTING FORWARD
Kansas Becomes Latest State to Consider Family Court Reform

National Parents Organization applauds Kansas lawmakers for joining the list of states considering legislation that helps children whose parents divorce or separate.

As The Washington Post reported, more than 20 states have recently considered legislation supportive of shared parenting – a child custody arrangement in which a child spends as close to equal time as possible with each parent. Kansas now has a pre-filed bill supportive of shared parenting for fit parents in cases without a history of domestic violence. Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, R-Leavenworth, is sponsoring the bill.

“Thanks to Sen. Fitzgerald, the state of Kansas has the opportunity to improve children’s educational achievements, decrease their use of drugs, give them a greater sense of security, increase their child support payments, and improve their overall health and adjustment without any cost to the taxpayer – all by passing shared parenting into law,” said Will Mitchell, Chair of National Parents Organization of Kansas. “With these benefits to hundreds of thousands of Kansas children in mind, we urge state lawmakers to make this proposal a top priority in 2018.”

The bill, 
SB 257, calls for a presumption of shared parenting, meaning that the two-parent solution would be ordered by the court unless good reasons were shown why that would not be in the best interest of the child. Close to 60 research studies from numerous states and countries and spanning several decades have shown that most children with shared parenting benefit in many important ways compared to children placed into the primary care of just one parent. (see “Recent Research” below). 

While shared parenting remains unusual in the United States, a trend toward shared parenting has developed in recent years. It has been the usual arrangement for several years in Sweden, Belgium, and Australia, and research there has shown much better outcomes for children. A handful of states have had similar laws for several years, and each year a couple more pass such laws., most recently in Missouri and Kentucky.


“Passage of this bill will work to ensure that children receive the consistent love and care of both parents after separation or divorce,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “We can’t afford to allow our broken family court system to continue with the sole custody status quo – our children can’t be deprived of either parent any longer.”

RECENT RESEARCH: SHARED PARENTING VERSUS SINGLE PARENTING
Shared Parenting Data


Single Parenting Data

According to 
federal statistics from sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, children raised by single parents account for:


  • 63% of teen suicides;
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions;
  • 71% of high school drop-outs;
  • 75% of children in chemical abuse centers;
  • 85% of those in prison;
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders; and
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children.

ABOUT NATIONAL PARENTS ORGANIZATION
National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or separation. The organization is focused on promoting shared parenting and preserving a child’s strong bonds with both parents, which is critically important to their emotional, mental, and physical health. National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws, and in 2017, National Parents Organization hosted the International Conference on Shared Parenting, bringing in research scholars from 18 countries to share their results on shared parenting. Visit the National Parents Organization website at 
www.nationalparentsorganization.org

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