A new survey, conducted for the National Parents Organization in Missouri shows once again overwhelming support for equal parenting. The poll was conducted by the professional polling organization, Public Policy Polling. It asked a representative sample of 468 Missourians about a number of issues related to shared parenting. The results were unequivocal, a landslide in favor of shared parenting.
Here are some examples of the questions and the responses:
Do you feel that children have the right to spend equal time or near equal time with both parents, if they are deemed fit and willing, following a divorce or separation, or not?88% of respondents said children should have that right, 2% said they weren’t and 10% weren’t sure.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Both parents, whether living together or living apart, should have equal access to their children and should share the responsibility for raising their children?80% agreed with that statement, 7% disagreed and 13% weren’t sure.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: A child would benefit from having equal time with both fit and willing parents following divorce?With that statement, 85% agreed, 5% disagreed and 10% weren’t sure.
In general, who do you think should have more parental rights — the mother, the father, or do you think their rights should be equal?To that, 74% said rights should be equal, 13% said mothers should have superior rights, 4% said fathers should and 9% weren’t sure.
Do you feel that fit and willing mothers and fathers should share in the responsibility of raising and providing for children whether they are married or divorced, or not?90% of respondents said mothers and fathers should share the responsibility, 2% said they shouldn’t and 8% weren’t sure.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: A child's health and well-being is better met when both fit and willing parents are equally involved in the child’s life, and share responsibility for the child, rather than one parent?88% agreed, 2% disagreed and 10% weren’t sure.
And then the kicker:
Would you support or oppose a change in Missouri Family Law that would award children equal time with both fit and willing parents in instances of divorce?To that question, 76% of respondents said they would support such a change, 8% said they’d oppose it and 17% weren’t sure.
Two years ago, a similar survey was done in Maryland with similar landslide results. In Missouri, as in Maryland, the overwhelming support for shared parenting crosses all lines of race, sex, party affiliation and age.
In Missouri as in Maryland, legislators have a choice. They can vote the wishes of the people who vote them into office – and can vote them out – or they can thwart those wishes. They can support the best interests of children or they can continue a status quo that is bad for kids, bad for fathers, bad for mothers, bad for society generally and bad for the public purse.
You’d think that would be an easy choice.