NPO in the media

May 8, 2016. Columbia Tribune, Columbia, Missouri, “Shared-Parenting Bill Supports Children’s Best Interests,” By Linda Reutzel (National Parents Organization of Missouri)

As a mother and grandmother, there’s nothing I want more this Mother’s Day than for the Missouri legislature to pass the shared-parenting bill.

This is my hope because I have felt the pain that Missouri’s broken family court system inflicts on families. Children are hurting. Parents are hurting. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents — everyone’s hurting. This unfortunate reality occurs because our courts continue rubber-stamping the outdated primary residential custody parenting model after divorce or separation, despite an overwhelming amount of research showing children need and want equal access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 considering legislation that aligns with research and stands to turn families’ pain into joy. HB 1550, which unanimously passed the Missouri Senate as well as the Fiscal Review Committee and is headed to the House floor, encourages 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.

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