Battle for parental rights after divorce plays out at Statehouse

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Battle for parental rights after divorce plays out at Statehouse. 3/5/2019

Under current Iowa Law, the courts tend to pick one parent as the primary custodian - something advocates believe is not in the best interest of the child. Bill aims to make a judge strongly consider awaiting joint custody & joint physical care.

All this bill does is that, when you enter into the court room in a divorce with children, that everything becomes equal.

The healthiest environment for the child is achieved by maximizing time with both parents. Children aren't getting divorced from their parents, they still want mom & dad in their life.

Bill Link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=SF%20571&ga=88

The bill, SF 571, states that family courts may assure the child maximum continuing physical & emotional contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, provided that it is in the best interest of the child/ren. It also states that both parents will share the rights and responsibilities of raising the child, unless there is a danger of direct physical harm or significant emotional harm to the child.


SF 571 also looks to protect parents who have been illegally denied parenting time with their children. It states that family courts shall consider the denial by one parent of the child's opportunity for maximum continuing contact with the other parent, without just cause, a significant factor in determining the proper custody arrangement.


Under the bill, the family court shall require both of the parents to submit either individually or jointly, a proposed physical care parenting plan that shall address how the parents will make decisions affecting the child/ren, how the parents will provide a home for the child/ren, how the child/ren's time will be divided between the parents and how each parent will facilitate the child/ren's time with the other parent.