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Proposed law for equal time sharing for parents in Minnesota

A piece of proposed legislation that has in the past been introduced in the Minnesota legislature is finding what might seem like unlikely support. A bill that was to introduce what is called "equally shared parenting" into law had passed both the Minnesota Senate and House in 2012, but the initiative has since stalled as Governor Dayton had not signed it into law.

There is talk about attempting to once again reintroduce it with some possible changes to satisfy certain interest groups. Surprisingly, the bill has received support from various feminist groups. Included among women in support of such a bill is a volunteer founder from Minnesota of the nonprofit organization called Center for Parental Responsibility. Other supporters have included Karen DeCrow, the former head of the National Organization of Women (NOW) and Phyllis Schlafly, a prominent conservative spokesperson.

The Center for Parental Responsibility released statistics back in 2009 that claimed women were awarded sole physical custody in about 70 percent of all cases in Ramsey County. Whether these statistics are truly accurate or if such circumstances are typical of all Minnesota counties is unknown, but it does appear that women are overall awarded sole custody more than do men.

One must always be careful when using statistics in this manner to support a particular position regarding child custody

Parties have to abide by the laws that are passed. However, attorneys do understand that the basic premise behind much family law legislation concerns fairness to all partners involved. Generally the presumption is that it's best for a child if both parents are involved in the child's development. Still, there do need to be exceptions made to such a presumption if the health and welfare of a child are at stake.

Source: Star Tribune, "Divorced dads get big gift from fired-up moms," by Gail Rosenblum, June 8, 2013

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