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Bill introduced in Iowa that would give separating parents equal rights to their children

DES MOINES – A bill has been introduced in the Iowa Legislature that would help keep children from being “used as bargaining chips” in a divorce or separation of parents.

On January 23rd, 2017, the Iowa legislation introduced into the Iowa House Judiciary Committee a bill that gives parents a rebuttable presumption of joint physical custody of their children after a divorce and custodial divisions. Passing this bill allows for mothers and fathers to have an equal part in raising their child after their separation.

Family’s United Action Network, which is sponsoring the bill,  says it “seeks to provide maximum opportunities for children by providing healthy and stable environments for these children.” The nonprofit has been able to work with the Iowa legislation in order to advocate for bills that are in line with their mission statement: “To preserve and protect children & families through repairing and rebuilding current structures & organizations, to create a solid foundation for Iowa’s Families and for the next generations.”

This Bill helps protect the best interest of the child and family by maximizing time with both parents: “Both parents will be awarded joint physical care over their children unless physical harm or significant emotional harm is inflicted on the child under the custody of one parent.” Molly K. Olson, Executive Director of Center For Parental Responsibility, quotes, “The social science research is abundantly clear, children do better with both parents in their lives as much as possible. A clear presumption of parental equality is needed to level the playing field.”

This Bill was introduced by Representative Norlin Mommsen of DeWitt, IA who quotes; “HF 71 will help keep children from being used as bargaining chips in a divorce.”

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