Parents who add a live-in adult companion to their household could risk losing custody of their kids under a bill introduced in the Iowa house. A non-custodial parent could request a new court hearing under a bill backed by republican representative Dan Boddicker from Tipton. Boddicker says looking at child-abuse statistics, the highest incidence or at least some high-profile cases of abuse, have involved what he calls a “shackup,” or a “live-in honey,” and Boddicker says there should be doubt put into the system so people will think about it before they do it. Boddicker, a republican from Tipton, says the court wouldn’t be required to strip the parent of custody but would have to consider the new living arrangement. The leading democrat on the committee that will consider the bill says it could pass, as long as the bill leaves discretion up to the court. Representative Ro Faoege says a priority should be the individual review of each case. So we aren’t bouncing kids around, he says, and so the kids have continuity of relationships. The Mount Vernon representative says it isn’t fair to assume all live-in relationships are bad or abusive. Foege says he doesn’t want to see parents using the proposed law just to get back at a former spouse who now has a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
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