March 2, 2019
Yet just one state, Kentucky, has a true shared parenting law
A new national survey of Americans shows overwhelming support for shared time and responsibilities for fit and able couples that are separated or divorced. In spite of this, our nation’s family courts lay the responsibility of raising children on just one parent, which has been proven to take a damaging toll. The survey also revealed political implications, with nearly half (43%) saying they would vote for a candidate supporting shared parenting, compared with 5% who said they would not vote for an elected official supporting shared parenting legislation.
The vast majority (86%) of respondents would agree that both parents should have equal access to their children and shared responsibility. They also believe it’s a matter of children’s rights: 84% think children have a right to spend equal time or near equal time with both of their parents following a divorce or separation.
A child’s health and well-being are better met when both fit and willing parents are equally involved and share responsibility, according to 86% of respondents, yet family court laws stand in the way, often harming children. Extensive research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, show among other findings, that 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 percent of children in chemical abuse centers
· 90% of homeless and runaway children
How can this be changed? Policymakers can pay close attention to what the general public is saying and modify family courts to benefit children and both parents. If men have more responsibility in child rearing, women will be able to focus on what they need and like to do, whether it’s enjoying free time or focusing on their careers.
More than three quarters (76%) said that separating parents should have equal parental rights vs. the mother or father having disproportionately more. Just 2% thought the mother should specifically have more time with children after separation or divorce.
“There’s no question that children significantly benefit from two involved parents, but that’s not the way family courts work. The norm is that one parent becomes a mere visitor in their children’s lives, while the other shoulders the entire burden and responsibility. Ultimately, it’s our children who pay the price,” said Ned Holstein, Founder and Chair of the National Parents Organization. “It’s time to reform our outdated family courts system, state by state, and given children and both parents what they deserve.”
The survey was fielded by ResearchScape International from February 28 to March 1, 2019 with 1,000 respondents and a statistical relevance of +/- 3%.
For a copy of the complete survey or to speak with someone from the National Parents Organization, please contact Terese Kelly at 201-843-5600, Ext. 206 or email [email protected].
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