Utah’s New Law Aimed At Giving Both Parents Equal Responsibility 1


Utah’s new custody law aimed at giving both parents equal responsibility

By Nancy Rigdon, National Parents Organization

Rep. V. Lowry Snow

Rep. V. Lowry Snow

A new law which went into effect this week encourages the state courts to award equal child custody following divorce or separation.

House Bill 35, sponsored by Representative V. Lowry Snow of St. George, combats the outdated family court tradition of awarding sole custody to one parent – usually the mother – about 80 percent of the time. The bill creates amendments for an optional parent-time schedule of 145 overnights, sets holiday schedules and provides for specific elections by the noncustodial parent.

The National Parents Organization applauds Utah for being one of the first states in the nation to pass shared parenting. It’s even mentioned in the Wall Street Journal story, “Big Shift Pushed in Custody Disputes.”

The story revealed nearly 20 other states are actively considering shared parenting legislation.

“With research increasingly showing that children desperately want and need both parents after separation or divorce, I’m encouraged to see Utah lawmakers act on the evidence and bring state laws in line with what’s best for families. Now, it’s time for many other states to follow Utah’s lead and work to bring shared parenting and parental equality to more family courtrooms throughout the United States,” said National Parents Organization Founder and Board Chair Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.

National Parents Organization of Utah was actively involved in efforts to pass HB35. Most importantly, the new law encourages the court to increase the child’s time with the noncustodial parent from the current level of 110 days per year up to at least 145 days, or 40 percent.

Dan Deuel of National Parents Organization of Utah, said, “On behalf of parents throughout the state of Utah, I’d like to extend a thank you to the Utah State Legislature for standing up to a broken system that harms children and parents and creating a historical change that will allow more children to experience the constant love and support of both parents in their lives. In particular, I’d like to recognize the outstanding efforts of chief sponsor Rep. V. Lowry Snow, R-St. George. He’s a champion for Utah families, and his hard work was crucial to the success of this bill.”

Dan Deuel of National Parents Organization of Utah, said, “On behalf of parents throughout the state of Utah, I’d like to extend a thank you to the Utah State Legislature for standing up to a broken system that harms children and parents and creating a historical change that will allow more children to experience the constant love and support of both parents in their lives. In particular, I’d like to recognize the outstanding efforts of chief sponsor Rep. V. Lowry Snow, R-St. George. He’s a champion for Utah families, and his hard work was crucial to the success of this bill.”

“Given the data, Utah’s new shared parenting law is a step in the right direction, and National Parents Organization of Utah intends to work on further refining the statute in future years to further improve the state’s child custody law,” Deuel said. “I am proud that Utah is a national leader is this area.”

Visit the National Parents Organization website at: www.nationalparentsorganization.org

Read more: KCSG Television: http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/26640933/article-Utah-s-new-custody-law-aimed-at-giving-both-parents-equal-responsibility?instance=eeo_report1


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  • Gurvinder Singh

    Regarding Utah’s new 60/40 plan. This is a step in the right direction. But I noticed that Utah has a very biased calculation for child support. The 60/40 will still obligate the non-custodial parent with significant child support. It is a lot by other states standards. That is sad that the father (88% non-custodial parents), will still be paying money they also desperately need to provide for the children. This is custody issue is also about equitable money. Why don’t we have the courage to speak up about this issue. That shows the discriminatory mindset in our society. If we did this to people because of the color of their skin, it would go to court right away, yet we continue to bash and discriminate against loving dad and don’t even skip a beat. I know I am preaching to the choir. You all are doing a dear service to humanity and for that I am extremely thankful. keep going.