July 30, 2015
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
National Parents Organization had a huge win this year in Utah. The Beehive State passed the most far-reaching shared parenting bill ever in the United States save possibly for Arizona’s. That law encourages judges to order a minimum of 145 days parenting time — 40% — for each parent post-divorce.
Now NPO is trying to build success on success with the passage of S.B. 834 in Massachusetts. That bill is the culmination of two years of work by a working group whose mission was set in motion by then-Governor Duvall Patrick. All the major interests were represented on the working group, and of course NPO’s Ned Holstein was one of the driving forces behind hammering out proposed legislation. That legislation would set one-third as the minimum parenting time a judge can order. The bill reads,
Time with each parent may but shall not necessarily be equal. Unless the parents agree or the court determines otherwise, a child shall reside one-third of the time or more with each parent.
Any order deviating from that standard must have its rationale explained in writing by the ordering judge.
Now that bill is before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. This is the best opportunity for real parenting time reform in Massachusetts to date. It already has the support of over 50 legislators, but it needs your support as well. By all means, contact Bay State legislators and let them know, in a calm and fact-based way how important this bill is. Urge them to pass it this year.