Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Shared child custody legislation aired in the N.H. House

Shared child custody legislation aired in the N.H. House - Fosters

Excerpts below:

Under the bill heard by the House Children and Family Law Committee, New Hampshire would join Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin in adopting shared custody of children.

Mark Snider of Nashua said he is recovering from his contested divorce by spending the last 10 weeks lobbying for the bill, including on his Web site, www.nhcustody.org.

Lawyers, child advocates and anti-domestic violence administrators have a conflict of interest in trying to kill the bill, he charged.

“The entrenched divorce industry has a vested interest in making sure the expensive destruction of nuclear families continues,” he said.

Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen supported the bill through an aide, John Williams.

“Shared parenting goes toward eliminating the perception that one parent is preferred over another due to her gender,” Williams said.

Rep. Claudia Chase, D-Francestown, backed the bill, saying she has seen both sides of divorce court, first as the mother who got primary custody.

“In the seven years we were divorced, he never visited his children. That’s the choice he made,” she said. But more recently, Chase said, she has been the wife of a second husband who vainly has fought for equal treatment stemming from his divorce. “This is a bill to find wholeness in the wake of brokenness,” she said.

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