Republicans are still fuming over the 18 bills democrat Governor Tom Vilsack vetoed on Friday. One of the last bills to clear the 2004 Legislature would have required divorcing couples to submit a parenting plan with 30 days of filing for a divorce. Dr. Brenda Payne, a child psychologist from Iowa City, says it’s hard to see how anyone could be against that. Payne says “just about everybody would be encouraged by the idea of parents having to submit a parenting plan very early in the divorce process, and kind of putting kids’ needs first.” In a prepared statement, Vilsack questioned whether it was feasible to expect divorcing parents to have such a plan ready within a month of when they filed for divorce. Vilsack also wondered whether putting a parenting plan in writing could undermine reconciliation efforts. Dr. Payne says getting a divorce can take over a year or more, and so there’s got to be an agreement about the children in the interim. Payne says parents should be thinking what’s going to happen with their kids even before they file for divorce. The bill Vilsack vetoed also would have made couples who don’t go through marriage counseling wait longer to get a marriage license.
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