North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative (2008)

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The Shared Parenting initiated state statute would have required that in the event of a divorce children be automatically given to their parents (unless danger to the child can be proven) and that time be divided evenly between parents.

The actual language reads:

This initiated measure would have added a new subdivision to subsection 1 of section 14-09-06.2 of the North Dakota Century Code providing that in divorce and legal separation cases, the court must grant joint legal and physical custody of any children if requested by either parent and neither one is found by clear, convincing evidence, unfit or a danger to the children; generally, physical custody would be equal unless varied by written agreement of the parents.


Debora Vaagen was the chairwoman of the advocacy group sponsoring the initiative. North Dakota's for Shared Parenting also tried to pass a similar measure which failed 57-43 percent because it included not only joint custody but also would have limited child support.[1]

The measure was also endorsed by the American Coalition for Fathers and Children's North Dakota affiliate (ACFC). The group advocated father's rights and also backed the 2006 [initiative]. They believed that it was more psychologically beneficial to have both parents involved in the raising of their children and that courts were biased to give mother's full custody.[2]

See also

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