DENVER — Parents going through a divorce could soon see equal time with their kids.
If passed, the 50/50 parenting bill (Colorado Senate Bill 15-129), would recognize parental rights as fundamental rights, putting parents in divorce court on equal ground.
“We’re looking forward to having this legislation move forward into the 21st century,” said Angelique Layton, a family law attorney in support of the bill. “Both parents have an important role in raising children.”
Opponents are fearful it would put kids back in the hands of an abuser.
“This would force these children to spend more time with a possible abuser,” said Annette Story.
Story’s son wrote a letter to lawmakers urging them to vote down the 50/50 parenting bill.
“My father abused me every time he had visitation with me,” Story’s son wrote. “I could have been dead. I could have been injured. I believe the most likely scenario is that I would have committed suicide to escape the horrible abuse that I suffered.”
Over the past few months, Story has tried to convince lawmakers to oppose the bill. The Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence has, too.
“The problem with the bill passing is that it’s going to muddy the waters,” said Amy Pohl, CCVDV spokeswoman. “It’s going to make it confusing for court professionals and attorneys to understand the best interest of the child standard.”
“We’re hoping this legislation would prompt more judges to put the reasons of their decision in writing,” she said.
A public hearing is scheduled Thursday afternoon at the capitol.
The 50/50 Parenting Bill has bipartisan support in the Colorado House and Senate.