NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

October 1, 2019 by Will Mitchell, National Parents Organization of Kansas

This week marked the release of the 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card issued by the National Parents Organization. The grading serves as a national study to provide a comprehensive ranking of the states on their child custody statutes, assessing them primarily on the degree to which they promote shared parenting after divorce or separation.

This study was motivated by the tremendous impact our nation’s family courts have on children whose parents are divorced or separated, and by recent consensus statements by leading child development research organizations that confirm children thrive with shared parenting following separation or divorce. A research team evaluated the child custody statutes of each state and determined a shared parenting grade for each, based on existing statutes.

Kansas earned a C- according to the NPO research.

Garrett Tacha, who lives in western Kansas, recently celebrated a ruling in his county courthouse which gave him equal custody time with his children. Tears of joy began to stream down his face as he walked out of the courtroom. His reaction was understandable considering he had to wait nearly three years after his divorce and pay over $30,000 in attorney fees in order to have meaningful time with his children. Tacha would later say, “I don’t understand why I had to spend thousands of dollars to prove that I am a fit and loving parent.”

If Tacha is confused by our family courts, he’s not the only one. His case serves as perfect example of why legislative reform is needed to help fix our courts.

Tacha was a fit parent without a criminal record, had never committed a violent crime in his life but was only allowed to see his children 15 hours a week by the judge. “The outcome of the court was awful. I couldn’t believe it. My heart was in pieces after that court date,” he said.

Read the rest here.

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