TENNESSEE: Bill seeks to force judges to give both parents equal time with the kids, post-divorce

The Tennessee legislature is considering a bill by Mike Bell, a Republican Rep, that seeks to give equal parenting time to parents after a divorce. There was some drama with the case because originally Mr. Bell wanted both parents to have, literally, equal time with the kids. However, an amendment to the bill was made giving parents the “maximum possible time.” Mike was unhappy with that and pulled the measure because he literally wanted “equal” time, no matter where the parents were living, where the child was going to school or what ever other impracticalities existed that made “equal time” logistically burdensome and impracticable. But someone talked some sense into him and after pulling the bill, he then put it back in the pool for consideration.

The issue has been emotionally debated by lawmakers for nearly a decade, and the sponsor of the amendment, Republican Rep. Donna Rowland of Murfreesboro, said the amendment gives the bill the “best chance of passing.” “I’m hoping the new wording gets across to the judges the point we’ve been trying to make all along, which is both parents need to be involved in the children’s lives and they need to consider that,” she said.  Supporters of the measure have said it’s needed to take discretion away from judges who are dealing with such a sensitive issue. (Associated Press)

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