A bill currently working its way through the New Hampshire legislature would give each parent an equal share of custody in most divorce cases, according to a recent article posted by Seacoast Online.
The bill, known as HB 591, would require courts to begin with the presumption that child custody in NH should be shared equally between two parents. However, courts may make different arrangements if one parent does not want custody or if situations in a parent’s home, such as abuse or neglect, mean that spending equal time with that parent would not be in the child’s best interest. In most situations, however, parents would be expected to work out a fifty-fifty child-custody-sharing arrangement, or follow the arrangement set up by the court if they cannot come to an agreement themselves.
Supporters of the bill also point out that it will save divorcing couples and taxpayers time and money, since receiving equal custody will prevent many parents from feeling the need to fight for such an arrangement in court. Currently, judges have great discretion to arrange custody according to the best interests of the children, especially if the parents cannot agree on an arrangement.