In late January of this year, Public Policy Polling of North Carolina conducted a survey of Texas voters’ attitudes about shared parenting. As in numerous other states, Texans strongly favor shared parenting. And, again as in other states, that support crosses all lines of sex, race, party affiliation, etc.
So for example, 77% of women and 77% of men agreed with the statement “it is in the child’s best interest to have as much time as possible with both fit, willing and able parents following a divorce or separation.” 71% of women and 80% of men said they thought children have a right to spend equal or near equal time with each parent following divorce or separation. 65% of women and 69% of men said they believe that children spending equal time with each parent would reduce re-litigation of custody cases. And 63% of women and 69% of men said they thought an equal parenting law is needed in Texas.
81% of Democrats, 79% of Republicans and 69% of independent voters thought children should have as much time as possible with each parent. 82% of Democrats, 73% of Republicans and 69% of independents said they thought children had the right to equal time with each parent. And 77% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 51% of independents thought Texas needs an equal parenting law.
Similar figures apply to black, white and Latino voters.
In short, as in other states, Texans strongly support the idea of equal or near equal parenting time for kids post-divorce. And, as in other states, so far Texas lawmakers aren’t listening. It’s a case of what British academic Dr. Anna Machin called governmental resistance to “the scientific evidence and increasingly loud calls for change.”
Legislators are supposed to represent the people. Yes, there are issues about which the will of the people is uncertain. This isn’t one of those issues. Again and again the people register their landslide support for equal parenting.
And yes, there are times when elected officials must lead in a direction other than what popular sentiment dictates. Again, this isn’t one of those times. The science is far too solid, the justice of equal parenting all too clear. In this case, it’s the people who are leading. It’s far past time their officials started following that lead.
To view the full poll results, please visit: https://tx.tfrm.us/wp-content/