Putting Children Before Partisan Politics

DENVER, Colo. The Senate united yesterday behind bipartisan legislation aimed at ensuring that the process for determining shared parenting time for children in domestic cases is fair and in the best interest of the child.

The amended bill (SB 15-129) allows judges to continue to determine the best interests of the child, and includes a legislative declaration, saying that “outcomes for children are usually better when a child has a relationship with both parents.” It also provides that if a court does not order substantially equal parenting time, it must include specific findings of fact about why it ruled the way it did. 

“When parents divorce, children pay a high price,” said Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who sponsored SB 15-129. “SB-129 gives those children a better chance of growing-up with both parents nearby.”

“First and foremost, children deserve whatever is in their best interest,” said Sen. Carroll, D-Aurora, who developed the amendment. “This amendment puts the child first. It does not mandate a cookie-cutter formula, but instead requires transparency and the basis for how the decision was reached.”

“I am pleased that we were able to collaborate, and come up with the best solution for Colorado kids,” said Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, who also developed the amendment. “The amended version of the bill will help provide better outcomes for children in the middle of contentious divorces.” 

There are many real-life factors that could affect the allocation of parenting time, such as special needs of the child, proximity to school, or the existing relationship with each parent.

The Senate approved the amended bill on second reading today, and it moved forward for a third reading vote, as soon as this week.


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commented 2015-03-27 16:36:16 -0600 · Flag
A small step in the right direction. A huge step was taken a couple of years ago when the Child Family Investigator (CFI) scope and FEES were limited. Too many angry estranged wives, at the “advice” of their divorce-industry attorneys have used CFI’s and parenting time to inflict financial and emotional distress on the men. The courts play along by entertaining every request and allegation made by a woman, seemingly regardless of how ridiculous but always in the name of “what’s best for the children.”

Want to improve the lives of children and their families regardless of marital status? Keep chipping away at the divorce industry in Colorado. Courts must step up and call a spade a spade; it takes serious evidence to justify a limit on any parent’s time with their children. That evidence needs to be immediate, obvious, and unlikely to change… Not something that can ever be found by ill-qualified social workers fine-tooth-combing through the words of vindictive litigants.
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