NPO in the media

September 29, 2015. Sun Chronicle, Attleboro, Massachusetts, “Holstein: After Divorce, Shared Parenting in Children’s Best Interest,” By Ned Holstein (National Parents Organization)

A bill before the Legislature (SB834 and HB1207) urges Massachusetts courts to act in the best interest of children by ordering shared parenting for children in most cases after parents separate or divorce. The legislation proposes a significant change, because, contrary to popular belief, most divorces currently result in sole physical custody to one parent. State Sen. Richard Ross – a Republican from Wrentham and a co-sponsor of the bill – serves on the Judiciary Committee and will have an important vote on this bill very soon.

Like all great ideas – all people are created equal, freedom of speech, gender equality – the shared parenting idea is simple. Children love both parents, learn from both parents, are protected by both parents, and long for both parents. Plus, research shows that shared parenting is in the best interest of children in most cases, so our courts should allow them to have both parents in most cases after separation or divorce.

That shared parenting is usually in the best interest of children is common sense. After all, 86 percent of Massachusetts voters agreed in a 2004 non-binding ballot question that shared parenting should be the usual outcome if both parents are fit and there has been no domestic abuse. Yet as Massachusetts and about 20 other states consider legislation that would provide children more equal time with both parents after divorce, this simple reform still sparks debate.

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