March 29, 2016
By Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Acting Executive Director, National Parents Organization
Missouri Senate Bill 964 has been passed by its committee and will go to the floor of the Senate for debate and a vote. The exact timing is uncertain, but it may happen within 10 days or so.
Senate Bill 964 is a strong shared parenting bill put together by National Parents Organization’s Missouri leader, Linda Reutzel. (Note House Bill 2055 is the same bill, but in the House, and is awaiting action there.) More details below.
Very importantly, the Missouri bar association – the professional association of lawyers – has voted to take no position on this bill. In some states, the bar associations have proven to be the fatal enemy of National Parents Organization’s shared parenting bills. We salute the Missouri bar for standing to the side and letting what is best for children go forward.
This bill will live or die with your actions. With the bar association standing aside, this is our chance! If you live in Missouri, call your State Senator and ask him or her to vote for this bill. Then get three of your friends or family to do the same. Legislators act when they feel their constituents are pushing them to do so. Otherwise, they would rather lie low and not be forced to take a position.
HERE is where you can find out your Senator’s phone number. If you are not sure who your Senator is, just Google “Find my Missouri State Senator.”
Missouri’s child custody law currently requires judges to only award “significant, but not necessarily equal” periods of time with a child. The proposed legislation, SB 964, would move the requirement to “approximate and reasonably equal” time for “fit and willing” parents. We provided a more complete analysis of this bill HERE.
After the bill was introduced, National Parents Organization’s media team publicized it in over 30 media placements in February, and radio and print stories continue, with some in the last couple of days. Linda Reutzel will to Jefferson City Tuesday and Wednesday to lobby for this bill. Now she needs you to do your part!
Linda is a grandmother who runs a small business with her husband in Cape Girardeau. Her son has had the usual problems in family court. At a certain point Linda decided “Enough is enough,” and took the reins of Missouri National Parents Organization. She is getting results, but needs your help. If you have any questions or would like to help Linda, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org