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Equal child custody laws considered

Many in Arizona know that when a couple files for divorce there are issues that can be negotiated between the spouses. These can include asset division, the family home and in some cases child custody. Often the child custody plan can be decided between the parents without court intervention. Other times the court must make the determination because parents cannot agree.

In divorces, it is common for parents to seek what they believe is in the best interests of the children. This can sometimes make agreement on a custody plan difficult due to the desire of both parties to have the children live with them. When a court is asked to determine the custodial schedule, the judge reviews all available evidence to determine a fair and equitable resolution that meets the child's needs.

Arizona readers may be interested to hear that Minnesota is considering making changes to its child custody laws to make the presumption for child custody to be equal between both parents. Defining child custody as 45.1 percent of the time, proponents of the new legislation say that the near equal time between the parents is in the best interests of children. The new law would only apply to cases where the parents cannot agree on a child custody plan through negotiation.

Proponents assert that there will be exemptions to the presumptions for child custody in the new proposed legislation. Change to the law may certainly occur as it travels through the legislative process. These changes may better reflect the needs of families. Those in Arizona who are going through a divorce and considering child custody may be interested in following the legislative progress of the bill as well as the trend of jurisdictions to give greater consideration to a more equal split of time in child custody decisions.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio, "House approves bill to change custody laws," Sasha Aslanian, April 18, 2012

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