ST. LOUIS – There could soon be more cases of 50/50 custody for children of separated parents in Missouri. It comes after two metro dads have spent nearly four years working on a bill. The bill went to the Missouri house floor for debate on Wednesday, and if it passes, those dads expect the governor will sign it.
Mark Ludwig and Jeremy Roberts, with Americans for Equal Shared Parenting, said this is not a cookie cutter approach to 50/50 custody and it certainly never guarantees custody will be evenly split. They said it’s more of a starting point and believe it’s only fair a judge considers 50/50 custody, instead of automatically limiting one parent to every other weekend with their child.
The issue is close to the hearts of the two fathers, out of St. Louis and St. Charles, who have both dealt with custody issues first hand. In 2016 the two were part of a team that got a law passed that requires family courts to answer eight questions to determine a custody arrangement in the best interest of the child. It forced a judge to give a reason why 50/50 wasn’t granted. Now, the two have another bill in the house. The proposed law would mean without any facts, a judge needs to start with the presumption both parents are fit for 50/50 custody. Then, as the judge learns about the parents, that judge can alter the custody plan based on those facts.
The two dads have spent the past six months on a 38-city tour and told Fox 2/News 11they have bills in 38 states across the country. They said sometime in the next few days the Missouri House of Representatives will vote on the bill that was perfected on Wednesday. Ludwig and Roberts said they are confident it will pass and they are also confident the governor will sign off on it.
You can learn more on the group’s Facebook page here.