Backers call it the “boyfriend bill.” It’s designed to make it easier for one divorced parent to go to court and get custody if their former spouse shacks up with someone who is bad news. Republican Representative Dan Boddicker of Tipton, the chief architect of the bill, is concerned by child murder statistics. Boddicker says in the past five years, 60 children were killed in Iowa — and just over 25 percent of those murders were committed by people who were living with the child’s parent. The bill cleared the House Human Resources Committee yesterday, and Boddicker told the panel he wants to see the bill passed into law soon because he doesn’t want to wait ’til another boyfriend “beats the crap” out of his girlfriend’s kid to act. Democrat Representative Ro Foege says he’s concerned the parent who doesn’t have custody of the kids would go to court harass the ex-spouse who won custody.Foege says his second concern is that the proposal paints all people who live together as bad people and bad parents. Foege says the bill doesn’t really address the real issues that’re at the heart of child abuse cases.If the bill becomes law, a parent who has primary custody could go to court and ask a judge to deny visitation to an ex-spouse who’s living with someone questionable.
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