photo: Anna Pruzhevskaya via Flickr
Michigan lawmakers are pushing for changes to state laws to allow “equal parenting” to be the standard for divorce settlements — a move supporters say will modernize divorce laws that were made decades ago when more moms stayed home and dads were more “hands-off” than they are today.
Michigan’s proposed bill, spearheaded by State House Representative Jim Runestad, would require judges to start custody proceedings with a presumed 50/50 split between “two actively-involved” parents, said a Fox News affiliate report. The split would be designed as a baseline, and would be flexible on both sides depending on the circumstances.
Opponents say the arrangement could put children in danger if one parent is abusive. But Runestad and his supporters say the bill has “safety measures” in place to prevent this.
“We have taken a lot of time to craft the potential situations that can come up,” Runestad said in the report. “This allows the courts to deal with them individually but the starting point for loving, caring, and fit parents is equality.”
Numerous studies have shown that kids of divorced parents fare better emotionally and behaviorally when they spend equal time with both parents. Consequently, several states — including Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Missouri — have considered changing custody laws to make equal parenting the standard, with Utah being the first to pass “shared-parenting” legislation in 2015.
For the complete text of Michigan’s proposed revised custody laws, click here.
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