An Huntsville Times’ editorial advises that the Republican Alabama Children’s Family Act “needs makeover.” I critiqued some major flaws in the bill here. From what I understand, Bussman, the bill’s sponsor and committee chair, intends to vote the matter out of committee this week.
Part of the makeover has begun according to the Decatur news:
Originally, the language of the bill stated the father and mother would alternate “primary parental decision-making authority” between odd- and even-numbered years in the event they could not agree on a parenting plan. Bussman said Wednesday that language has been changed to only apply to decisions regarding the child’s extracurricular activities.
However, this amendment does not alter the primary problem of the “equal physical custody” requirements. With this modification, who decides the location of the school or religion in a week-on/week-off arrangement? In a year-on/year-off? I am not sure this change really helps but actually makes the bill more difficult to apply.
In addition to the 20 Republican co-sponsors in the Senate, the bill enjoys some backing organizations. as well. The corresponding house bill has 25 co-sponsors. At the committee hearing last week, the Alabama Bar Family Law Section advised that members of the Alabama Family Rights Association supporting the bill were at the capital in droves (15 or so). Also, I noticed, surprisingly, that Eagle Forum is backing the bill.
Bills dealing with shared custody are pending in at lease 8 other states.
Let’s the Republican legislators can think through this poorly written, reactionary, and doctrinaire legislation.