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May 14, 2012 - Minnesota Increases Time Shares in Custody Cases - Your Help Needed.
Last Thursday night the Minnesota legislature passed HF322, a bill that gives kids a minimum of 35% time sharing with both parents in the event of divorce. This is great news but your help is urgently needed to assure the bill becomes law. Read on and take action today.
Please take a moment and call the governor and thank him for his support for HF322. Let his office know you look forward to him signing a bill that came to his desk from the legislature with broad bipartisan support. Governor Dayton’s phone numbers are 651 201-3400 or toll free at 800 657-3717. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opponents of the bill are urging a veto.
Molly Olson of the Center for Parental Responsibility (CPR), ACFC’s Minnesota affiliate has worked tirelessly for over a decade educating the public, judges and legislators on the benefits of shared parenting for children. The battle to get this bill passed has been long and intense. Back on April 18th, the Mn. House approved by a vote of 80-53 this version of HF322 giving children a minimum of 45.1% time sharing with both parents. Click here for an important message from Molly on why your help is still urgently needed.
The Senate was not going to accept the House version of the bill. HF322 was held in the Senate judiciary committee and it appeared the legislation would die there. Finally, literally on the last day of the legislative session, the Senate agreed to allow a version of the bill to go forward that would set a 35% baseline time share allocation. The current statute allows for a 25% baseline presumption.
Last Wednesday night the Senate passed the bill at 11:55 p.m. by a vote of 46-19. Click here to see the version that passed the Senate. The bill was returned to the House and was (re)passed in its scaled back version at 2:10 a.m. Thursday morning. It was sent to Governor Dayton for signature on May 11.
While we believe the original House version of HF322 was the better bill, we appreciate the bipartisan support of the legislature in getting this bill passed and giving the children of divorce and unmarried parentage the opportunity for a fuller relationship with both parents. HF322 represents a significant improvement in family law. Quite literally children will be able to go from spending 2 of every 14 days with one of their parents to spending 5 of every 14 days with that parent.
This action brings the statute into closer alignment with what social science research tells us is actually in the best interest of children. It furthers good public policy and will have a positive impact on the practice of family law in the state of Minnesota.
CPR and ACFC have worked together for years to change public opinion about children’s need for both parents. Please use the donate button above and make a contribution to support ongoing efforts to bring about improvements in our nation’s family law systems. Please also take a moment to like us on facebook and tell your friends about ACFC.