Jason McLean, an attorney with Gjesdahl Law in Fargo, penned a letter in Sunday’s Forum regarding HB 1392, the shared parenting bill.
The bill reflects social science evidence, which finds that children’s best interests are served when each fit, able and willing parent is involved at least 35 percent of the time with the children. The scientists who publish these outcomes stake their professional reputations on factual interpretation of research data.
The bill states the divorce/child custody process will begin with a presumption of 35-50 percent time with each parent, reflective of the best child outcome research. It’s important to understand a presumption does not mean shared parenting is a requirement. The bill attends to situations in which this isn’t in the children’s best interests, as is written in current law.
McLean takes exception to the word presumption in the bill. Presumption, as defined in Webster’s New World College Dictionary: “Law the inference that a fact exists, based on the proved existence of other facts.” Seems like using scientific evidence, the children’s benefits of spending…