GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — In our KARE 11 EXTRA we looked at how parenting time of children is divided up when parents are divorced or separated.
You're welcome to watch the whole story but to boil it down...right now, in Minnesota, both parents of a divorce get a baseline of 25 percent parenting time with their children and, most often, parents figure out the remaining 50 percent as they see fit. If they can't, a judge decides it for them.
But one study from seven counties shows fathers often get far less parenting time than mothers.
In the past, this was more accepted. Today many families want to see the law changed. A new proposal would give courts a starting point of 50-50 for each parent, but allow a judge to change that should there be proof of physical, emotional or mental abuse or logistical issues.
We heard from people both for this change and against this change. Afterwards we heard from you.
On Facebook alone we have received just shy of 2,000 comments on the story and our email box is flooded with more reactions.
The overwhelming message from viewers was "thank you for covering this please look into the system more."
"No fit and loving parent, or their extended family, should have to pay $75,000 to $150,000 just so they can remain in their child's life."
As I read through all of these comments, there were common themes and similar complaints with the system:
Custody Evaluators not held Accountable
First, the viewers said the custody evaluators were not being held accountable to explain why they recommend certain schedules for the judges.
Social Science not Taken into Account
Second, viewers claim that many courts don't take into account social science research that says minimizing parent roles is bad for kids.
Costs too much Money to Fight for Equal Time
Third, fathers say they settle for less time because they don't have the money to fight for more time.
I do not know the answers to all these questions and concerns, I can't verify the veracity of each story, this is what we've been sent. But they are valid questions that we will be trying to answer.