A new petition in the state of Nebraska has brought judicial parenting rulings under scrutiny. Documentation filed with the state Supreme Court requested fair and equal parenting time in divorce cases.
Historically, there has been disparity in how Nebraska judges have awarded a divorcing couple the right to spend time with their children. Proponents of the petition claim research shows the best interests of the child are at stake. They have cited studies indicating academic achievement and overall self-esteem are positively impacted when children spend quality time with both parents.
Critics of the bill have raised concerns over previously failed attempts to allow equal parenting time, citing episodes of domestic violence. They have provided information stating the most volatile time for a family is when one partner decides to leave an abusive situation. They point out the petition reflects a massive effort to undermine the state constitution as well as the 14th amendment, which speaks to the right to parent.
Other parameters of the petition address raising the percentage of time a qualified parent could spend with his or her child, as well as provisions for joint custody of older children.
Determining the best interests of the child in the state of Nebraska has traditionally rested with the judge. Nowadays, more and more couples are investigating the benefits of shared parenting and the positive results of mediation. The process of mediation can be less costly as well as a more civilized manner in which to resolve issues. It gives the couple a choice, rather than being forced to accept what the court rules.
You and your children deserve the right to move forward with your lives peacefully and safely after the divorce is over. The services of a mediator could help you resolve custodial and visitation matters.
Source: Omaha News, "Petition aims for more equally divided parenting time in divorce cases" Joe Duggan, May. 29, 2014