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Colorado one of 20 states considering new child custody laws

Nearly 20 states are considering legislation that would alter how judges rule on custody matters. In January, the Colorado Senate introduced a bill aimed at increasing shared parenting. With this particular plan, courts must explain the reasoning behind a non-shared parenting plan to show that the shared child custody plan was considered and exactly why it was not introduced.

Child custody is often an issue when parents separate or divorce. The question of whom will get legal custody and physical control of the children is often an explosive one. The new legislation being introduced would, if passed, guarantee that each parent has an equal amount of time with his or her children unless there is proof that one of the parents is unfit.

Linda Nielsen, who is a psychology professor at Wake Forest University, says that weekend visits often reduce the father's role in raising the children to a role similar to that of an uncle who only occasionally sees the children. However, when there is a custody battle, each parent often diminishes the other when they have to fight it out in court, which impairs the best interests of the child. The new legislation is aimed at both parents receiving maximum time with their children.

Colorado is one of the states pushing this new legislation, and fathers who are looking for child custody rights will be glad to know that progress is being made. Fathers who are struggling to obtain more time with their children may wish to speak with attorneys who can help to facilitate the progress. However, mothers who are fearful for their children because of abusive fathers may also wish to speak to attorneys about how to introduce evidence of abuse to protect their children.

Source: wsj.com, "Big shift pushed in custody disputes", Ashby Jones, April 16, 2015

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