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New law creates equal parenting time

Parents across Kentucky should take note of a new law that will go into effect July 1 and will make joint custody the presumed solution for a couple going through a divorce. According to the Daily Independent, Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 492 into law after both chambers voted unanimously for its passage. When a couple files for divorce, if each parent files a request for their portion of parenting time, the court will presume temporary equal time is the norm unless this could increase the likelihood or neglect or abuse of the children involved.

Shared parenting does not make one parent the custodial parent initially, and it allows for both parents to be involved in the decisions affecting their children, including about their educations, medical decisions or religious activities. The bill comes after a significant body of research has shown that it is in the best interest of children to be able to maintain relationships with both of their parents, especially in the beginning of a divorce. The law also attempts to keep the adversarial mindset out of the child custody process, which can also help kids.

In fact, a recent study showed that children of bitter divorces have their health affected into adulthood. As HealthDay News reported, healthy adults who had divorced parents who did not speak to one another during their childhoods were more likely to contract a cold than adults with parents who remained married or adults whose parents divorced in childhood but maintained contact with one another. The study exposed 200 healthy adults to a common cold and found adults who had been through the stressful divorces of their parents as children were three times more likely to get sick.

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