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Senate Committee Discussing Shared-Parenting Bill

February 4, 2014, 7:15 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Senate Committee Discussing Shared-Parenting Bill
PIERRE, SD -

Senate Bill 74 lays out 14 different factors a judge uses to determine if a shared-parenting arrangement is appropriate. One lawmaker, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, believes this is the first legislation in years that is equal on both sides. 

“In the past eight years, there have been several bills and this one, I believe, really does come together and will be appropriate [for a] shared-parenting arrangement,” District 14 Rep. Marc Feinstein said.

Feinstein says he believes this shared-parenting bill lays out a number of different factors to look into when granting child custody, which is why he says he signed his name to the bill. One of the factors is whether each parent is a suitable physical custodian for the child. Another is if each parent has an appropriate home to support the child and the extent to which both parents actively care for the child.

“When the parties can get together and use factors rather than automatic 50/50 custody, you have to go away from that. I believe this bill does end up with a similar result,” Feinstein said.

Those opposed to the bill say if it passed, it will not make a difference when the case gets to the courtroom because the judge will have the final say about custody.

“When a judge does look at the 14 different factors and can weight all of them together and see if a shared-parenting arrangement is appropriate, it's in the best interest of that child,” Feinstein said.

The bill is being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee 8:00 a.m. For a look at the bill, click here

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