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North Dakota's 'shared parenting' measure goes down to defeat

On Nov. 4, North Dakota voters showed their disapproval of Measure 6 in droves. The "shared parenting" measure, if passed, would have mandated that under state law, "no requesting biological or adoptive parent" could be denied equal parenting time, decision-making responsibility or residential responsibility in a child custody case. The measure would have created a legal presumption of equal rights for both parents in child custody cases with exceptions if there was "clear and convincing evidence" that a parent was unfit.

The measure lost by a 38 percent to 62 percent margin. That's an even bigger defeat than a similar measure back in 2006 had. That one got 44 percent of the votes.

The head of a group called Keeping Kids First, which was formed specifically to oppose the measure, acknowledged that our state's child custody system needs some changes. However, he argued that Measure 6 would have created more and worse legal battles over custody. He also asserted that it would put the interests of parents ahead of their children. He noted that the percentage of votes against the measure was consistent throughout all counties in the state.

Every child custody case is as unique as the family involved. Obviously, "shared parenting," with equal rights and responsibilities for both parents, sounds like a great idea. Sadly, however it is not always what is best for the children involved. North Dakota family law attorneys can work to help their clients obtain a child custody and visitation agreement that protects their rights and, most importantly, will provide their children with the safest, most positive, healthy environment possible.

Source: Inforum, "Measure 6: Shared parenting measure goes down to defeat" Brandi Jewett, Forum News Service, Nov. 05, 2014

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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