February 9, 2020 by Will Mitchell/ Special to Gannett Kansas
Last week Kansas joined a growing list of states supporting shared parenting when the Senate passed SB 157 by an overwhelming margin of 39 to 1.
Statewide polling last year showed Kansans supported the pending change by an amazing factor of 40 to 1. These results were verified last week at the Capitol with widespread support among men and women, Republicans and Democrats and across every age and racial group. SB 157 would create a presumption favoring shared parenting time for temporary child custody orders if both parents are considered capable.
This bill now passes to the House of Representatives with tremendous momentum, joining a rapidly growing national trend.
Senator Vic Miller, a former municipal court judge, said he supports equal rights for moms and dads, adding, “In those cases where they are hotly contested, one party wins a lot just by being the first one to the courthouse.” He went on to say he was voting for the bill.
Sen. Eric Rucker, an attorney, also voted for the bill. “Proponents expressed to us a tendency that once judges of this state issue temporary orders along these lines they did not have an equal chance to modify or change the order once it ultimately became permanent.”
Assuming the bill’s likely passage in the House, Kansas is expected to join neighboring Missouri, also poised to pass shared parenting soon.