Determining child custody is one of the most contentious aspects of the divorce process. When parents can’t establish a parenting plan on their own, they can turn to the court for guidance. However, Iowa courts tend to pick one parent to be the primary custodian, which isn’t always in the child’s best interest. The purpose of a comprehensive parenting plan is to guarantee that both parents have ample time to maintain healthy parent-child relationships. When a parent only sees their child a few days a month, it can be difficult to encourage a strong and meaningful connection.
To help parents – usually fathers – affected by this policy, Republican Senator Brad Zaun has introduced Senate File 11, a reform bill that pushes for joint custody and joint physical care. The child would spend equal time at both homes and each parent would have equal authority when it comes to making important decisions regarding the child’s healthcare and education. Of course, the court will evaluate the safety of each household before awarding joint custody.
According to Sen. Zaun, “Times have changed, there’s so much more shared parenting going on and I think it’s healthy to have the conversation. All this bill does is that, when you enter into the courtroom in a divorce with children, that everything becomes equal.”
However, opponents of the bill are concerned that pushing for joint physical care is just a way for the non-custodial parent to avoid paying child support. After all, per Senate File 11, all parenting costs will be split 50/50 between both parents because the child is spending an equal amount of time at both homes. Other are concerned that this bill means parents will spend more time in the courtroom as they argue over custody.
Explore Your Legal Rights with a Qualified Legal Representative
The court is supposed to make child custody determinations that reflect the child’s best interests. However, sometimes bias automatically leans in favor of the mother. At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, our West Des Moines fathers’ rights attorney can protect your paternal rights and help you secure reasonably fair child custody, visitation, and child support orders.
Call The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw at (515) 200-7571 to schedule a free consultation.