North Dakota bill aims to give parents in custody fights equal parental rights

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BISMARCK, N.D. (Valley News Live) - In a hearing on Tuesday, House Bill No. 1392 was discussed in Bismarck. The bill is about parental rights and responsibilities.
Some keys parts of the bill talk about equal decision making responsibility and equal parenting time and residential responsibility. The full text of the bill can be found here.

Jason McLean, a Family Law Attorney based in Fargo, said it's pretty much Measure 6 from 2014. Measure 6, dubbed North Dakota Parental Rights Initiative, was on the November 4, 2014 ballot. It was defeated by a 62% margin. The measure, upon voter approval, would have created a legal presumption that each parent in a child custody case is fit to parent, unless “clear and convincing evidence” demonstrated otherwise. Furthermore, the measure would have given each parent in a custody case, unless one parent was proven unfit, equal parental rights and responsibilities, parenting time, primary residential responsibility and decision making responsibility over a child.

McLean testified against the bill at Tuesday's hearing. He said lawmakers will take into account the similarities between House Bill 1392 and Measure 6, and how North Dakotans voted against the measure.

Rep. Tom Kading, R-Fargo, said while writing House Bill 1392, they looked at the bad parts of Measure 6, researched several studies about the negative impact single-parenting has on kids, and talked with the State Bar Association, who opposed Measure 6, for their input. Kading said he's confident this bill is better than Measure 6 and will protect children.

Contact information for the bill sponsors is below.

Rep. Kading

Rep. Kiefert

Rep. McWilliams

Rep. Pyle

Rep. Roers

Rep. Vigesaa