Charlottesville Daily Progress: Opinion/Commentary: Decreasing child-custody conflict after divorce, separation

October 6, 2019 by Christian Paasch, National Parents Organization of Virginia

What would you do if your child, who had been getting a D- on report cards, brought one home with a C- instead? Would you rejoice and say that’s good enough? Or would you view it as a decent start with plenty of opportunity for improvement?

That is exactly the kind of improved position Virginia is in, thanks to a legislative push from the Virginia affiliate of the National Parents Organization.

As a result of the landmark 2018 HB 1351, which simply requires courts to consider joint physical custody and joint legal custody on par with or equal to sole custody, Virginia has just received a C- in NPO’s 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card. While this is certainly not outstanding, it does put Virginia on the right path toward doing not only what’s been proven best for children and families, but what its neighboring state of Kentucky has already done: Make shared parenting the norm and de facto starting point.

Recently, NPO released its 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card — the latest study to issue each state’s child custody statutes a grade, A through F. This report card provides a comprehensive ranking of states on their child custody statutes, assessing them primarily on the degree to which they promote shared parenting versus sole custody, after divorce or separation.

Thanks to Del. Glenn Davis, Virginia passed its first ever “shared parenting friendly” bill in 2018 — and Virginia’s children and families can thank him for being better off for it. This bill’s success is further underscored by its unanimous, bipartisan passing and Gov. Ralph Northam’s support via a formal signing ceremony for the bill.

Read the rest here.

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