By Matt Hale
Kentucky Chairman of the National Parents Organization
For The Mountain Advocate
Kentucky’s new equal time child custody law just started a month ago but already Kentucky’s citizens are speaking in a nearly unanimous voice. We love it.
And why wouldn’t we? The law treats people equally no matter what race or gender they are. It saves separating families millions of dollars by avoiding often useless child custody battles. It’s based on our amazing kids deserving both parents if the parents are fit. And, it gives all of us hope that horrendous child custody fights will become the exception instead of the norm. That saves taxpayer dollars too.
How popular is the new law? We are in a bitterly divided nation where each political party claws to get fifty percent plus one. Equal time child custody (called “shared parenting”) passed the Kentucky House eighty-one to two and the Senate unanimously. The law’s first poll shows (click here for the news article) that only ten percent of voters were against the law while six times as many people (61%) supported it. The rest were undecided or unsure. Lawmakers’ votes and these polling numbers make the shared parenting law the most popular major legislation Kentucky passed this year.
Kentucky’s citizens sent several more messages through the poll’s voice such as their concern that fathers are being treated unfairly by a whopping seventy percent to thirteen percent. Kentucky’s voters also stated very clearly that they believe false domestic violence and child abuse claims are not uncommon in custody cases. The voters said that children have the right to see both parents equally or nearly equally by eighty-two percent to five percent (82 to 5!). They said that they want political and judicial candidates to support shared parenting. They even went so far as to say they would vote on it too.
Voters in other states also believe in equal time laws. Neighboring Missouri voters were asked if they wanted a law like ours. Missourians responded with “yes” by a whopping seventy-six percent to eight percent margin. https://nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/24077-it-s-a-landslide-missourians-endorse-shared-parenting.
But what does the Kentucky poll say about us? It says that Kentucky’s citizens are for strong families and overall fairness. It says we are against racial and gender discrimination (in this case anti-father discrimination) It also says Kentuckians care about how their lawmakers vote on shared parenting. It says that we believe healthy parents deserve to be in their children’s lives. It says we believe our children are better off when they get the love of both parents. And, it says that we are telling our children one simple lesson, “We want what’s best for you and we’ll work together to make that happen”.
The new shared parenting law brings us all hope that we, our loved ones, friends and neighbors are working together to help our children. Our kids are great and they deserve both parents. But, I don’t need to tell you this. It looks like we already agree.