North Dakota Senate Passes Shared Parenting Bill; Who Benefits The Most?

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 31, 04:00 am
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North Dakota lawmakers passed its amended shared parenting bill which reduces court battles among divorced or separated parents.
(Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

North Dakota senators approved its highly-debated shared parenting bill Wednesday. By a vote of 28-19, the approval paved the way for amendments to the North Dakota Century Code when it comes to parenting time and responsibility.

Rep. Tom Kading introduced HB 1392 on the floor in January 2017. The bill went through a series of readings and deliberation among the House and the Senate.

The House approved HB 1392 by a vote of 71 to 21 last February. With senators doing the same thing, then the bill will soon go to a conference committee, as per Bismarck Tribune.

Under HB 1392, each divorced or separated parent can have between 35 to 50 percent of the time with their children. If one of the parents will seek shared parenting privileges from a judge, the law requires the court "articulate in its decision the rationale for either awarding or denying the request."

Kading received opposition when he introduced HB 1392 because many said his proposal was nothing but Measure Six. North Dakota voters rejected this in the ballot in 2014.

Measure Six was a pro-parent proposal. Kading defended he devised the policies of HB 1392 for the best interest of the child and not the mom or dad.

Experts discussed the effects of this law on families via Valley News Live. Sean Kasson, a proponent of HB 1392, said conflict filled the current status quo among divorced parents battling custody in court and lawyers gained from this arrangement.

"You pit two parents against each other, so when you do that, you create conflict, you create competition," he said. "The money flows."

With HB 1392, however, its North Dakota children of divorces or separation who win and the lawyers won't be able to "cash in" on the conflict anymore. Kasson sees the shared parenting law as a way for parents to truly focus on the kids by citing why they deserve 50 percent custody than fighting the other side in court.

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