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Iowa lawmakers pass law dealing with child custody


This news story was published on March 6, 2016.
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Iowa capitol

Iowa capitol

DES MOINES – The Iowa House of Representatives approved a crucial family law reform bill this week. Parental equality leaders across Iowa are calling on lawmakers to pass the legislation quickly to help curb the adversarial nature of the current family law system.

“Iowa has an opportunity this year to be a national leader on children’s and family health. House File 2372 helps us begin to address the problem by maximizing children’s time with both parents after a divorce. This legislation puts children’s emotional health front and center,” Families United Action Network Chief Executive Director Nicholas Dreeszen said.

If the bill is passed, if joint legal custody is awarded in a custody dispute, the court shall award joint physical care to both joint custodial parents, unless the court determines joint physical care is not in the best interest of the child. Under current law this is not required.

The bill passed a House Committee on February 17 on a 13-8 vote.

The parental equality movement has gained momentum across the country in recent years as research has mounted showing children have the best shot at success when both parents are actively involved.

The bill was amended and passed by the House on March 2, 2016.

One provision included in the bill states:

Prior to awarding joint physical care, the court may require the parents to submit, either individually or jointly, a proposed joint physical care parenting plan. A proposed joint physical care parenting plan shall address how the parents will make decisions affecting the child, how the parents will provide a home for the child, how the child’s time will be divided between the parents and how each parent will facilitate the child’s time with the other parent, arrangements in addition to court-ordered child support for the child’s expenses, how the parents willl resolve major changes or disagreements affecting the child including changes that arise due to the child’s age and developmental needs, and any other issues the court may require.

The bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration.

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3 Responses to Iowa lawmakers pass law dealing with child custody

  1. Avatar

    TW Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    My wife moved 25 miles away after filing for divorce. She then claimed since we lived 25 miles apart, joint physical care wasn’t possible. The court gave her primary physical care, stating the main reason was the distance between our homes. I now get to see my daughter every other weekend, 4 days every 4 weeks!

  2. Avatar

    Darrin Gould Reply Report comment

    March 16, 2016 at 5:34 am

    For far too many Men…it’s too late. They could start by Banning Dirty Divorce’s and making Parental Alienation a Criminal Offence. Thanks Government…for all the Kids and Dads you solely hepled to destroy!

  3. Avatar

    Jaki Lidsey Reply Report comment

    March 16, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I hope this law comes to Australia it would make a lot of alienated parents very happy