As a mother and grandmother, I’ve felt the pain Missouri’s broken family court system inflicts on families. Children are hurting. Parents are hurting. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents — everyone’s hurting.
All this because our courts continue rubber stamping the outdated primary residential custody parenting model after divorce or separation, despite an overwhelming amount of research showing children need and want equal access to both parents. Thankfully, Missouri legislators are currently considering legislation that aligns with research and stands to turn families’ pain into joy. HB 2055, sponsored by Kathy Swan of Cape Girardeau, and SB 964, sponsored by Wayne Wallingford, also of Cape Girardeau, encourage our state’s courts to award shared parenting — a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent — when both parents are fit and there has been no domestic violence, and I urge all lawmakers to support this crucial proposal.