Shared parenting bill fails to pass the state senate - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Shared parenting bill fails to pass the state senate

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Divorce can be painful for some children.

And having to choose between parents can be a difficult decision for kids.

A shared parenting bill failed to pass the South Dakota state senate Thursday.

KSFY spoke with a lawyer Thursday who told us what this bill would have meant to South Dakota families.

Right now, when parents get divorced one parent gets custody and the other parent just gets four days visitation a month.

Senate bill 125 set out to balance duties between parents by awarding joint custody to moms and dads.

But the amended bill failed to pass the senate this afternoon on a vote 13 to 21 against.

Lawyer Joel Arends believes without giving equal time to both parents, it's unfair to kids.

"We see that kids who have an absent father have higher incarceration rates, have lower self-esteem. They have lower grades in school and they have a whole host of problems when there's an absent parent in the household. Right now, as it apparently stands, the law is standing in the way of giving these kids two parents at home when there's a divorce or a separation," Arends said.

The bill would have set guidelines for equal time sharing.

Which could include a child's education, health care and any other responsibility unique to each family.

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