When the bell rings on opening day this Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in the Missouri Assembly, companion shared parenting bills, HB 229 sponsored by Representative Kathy Swan and SB 14 sponsored by Senator Wayne Wallingford, will be ready for legislative action. The legislative language in these bills has been vetted in previous sessions and so these bills are ready for passage. State advocates of shared parenting are ready to help advance the interests of children and parents in Missouri by informing state officials about the importance of getting these bills across the finish line and signed into law. Rebuttable presumption of equal parenting is not mandatory and judges have discretion in circumstances where exceptions exist or it would be dangerous for the child. It simply means that for fit and willing parents who want equal time with their children, it should be allowed and encouraged.
All research points to equal parenting time after divorce or separation as a common sense policy that is in the best interest of children and families. Sharing the parenting after a divorce reduces conflict and helps children have a sense of stability in their lives which most parents would agree is important. This means less stress on children, reduced litigation costs and frees up court docket time. While there is broad agreement that an intact family is part of the American dream, burying our heads in the sand when it comes to parenting laws after divorce is no solution. Equal shared parenting is best for children of divorce.