April 14, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
National Parents Organization has scored another victory, this time in Kentucky. House Bill 492 passed both houses of the state legislature unanimously. That’s right, without a single dissenting vote. This past Monday, Governor Matt Bevin signed the measure into law.
What is House Bill 492? It establishes a presumption of shared parenting and equal parenting time in temporary orders. From now on, absent extenuating circumstances, neither parent in a divorce case will be shoved aside during the pendency of the case. As countless parents know, that is vitally important to a parent’s opportunity to continue the same arrangement once the final order is signed. Put simply, judges often tend to recapitulate in the final order the terms of the temporary one. So fathers who were marginalized from the start founnd themselves marginalized permanently.
The new law in Kentucky makes that much, much more difficult and permanent equal parenting much more likely. It’s a huge step forward.
Now’s the time for a huge shout-out to NPO’s executive in Kentucky, Matt Hale, without whom passage of House Bill 492 would never have happened. Excellent job, Matt.
And speaking of the excellent Mr. Hale, here’s his op-ed on the bill (Lexington Herald-Leader, 4/12/17). He appropriately cites the legislators who backed the bill.
Thanks to Bevin and bill sponsors David Osborne, R-Prospect, Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, and Robby Milles, R-Henderson, joint custody is the temporary order law in Kentucky.
Plus, Hale makes the case for why shared parenting is so important, not just for kids, but for both parents too.
Studies show that shared parenting children really are winners. Shared parenting children are more likely to be involved in football or music contests than sole custody children. Children who see both parents are also less likely to do drugs or have premarital sex.
The funny thing is that both parents win, too. Neither is denied his or her half of parenting time. Neither parent is forced to work all day long and then be a single parent all night long every day. They have half their evenings and weekends to focus on their careers, tend to one of their own parents or start a new relationship.
The movement for shared parenting isn’t Dad versus Mom. On the contrary, it seeks what’s best for everyone involved in a divorce and child custody case. Unsurprisingly, like the movement itself, shared parenting tends to reduce conflict between divorcing parents. States with shared parenting laws can expect to see happier, healthier kids, with happier, healthier parents. What’s not to like?
Hale makes another important point.
It’s so easy to point out our government’s flaws. But today we celebrate our legislators making things better. The entire Kentucky House and Senate have helped children see both parents after divorce. And they should because our kids deserve both parents.
Right. In a time when legislative bodies are scorned seemingly by everyone – and often justifiably so – it’s important to note when one gets something right. Kentucky’s unambiguously did just that.
Congratulations to NPO Kentucky and Matt Hale. You’ve done a great service to the people of your state.
National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization
National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved? Here’s how:
Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.
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