Last year, North Dakota voters rejected a proposed legislation that would have mandated that a family court establish equal timesharing with minor children unless otherwise agreed by the parents.
This year, the proposal re-surfaces in considerably streamlined form. Any impact on child support is omitted from the language of the initiative.
If the current proposal is passed, if either parent seeks equal timesharing, the court must order equal timesharing.
There is only one means to protect children from equal timesharing:
if a parent “is found unfit or a danger to the children by clear and convincing evidence“
That is a pretty tough standard to meet – and it may place some children at unnecessary risk.
This initiative also highlights that the term “joint custody” has different meanings as used in different states.