Judges in Iowa will soon be required by law to give more thought to granting joint custody to divorcing parents. The 2004 Iowa Legislature passed a bill that makes it harder for a judge to deny a divorcing parent joint custody of their child. Governor Tom Vilsack says traditionally, the courts have found it’s in the “best interests” of children to live in a single, stable home when there’s a divorce, but Vilsack says with his signature on the bill, that dynamic is changed forever.Vilsack says the new law extends an invitation to divorcing moms and dads to be more involved in the lives of their children.Vilsack says he’s reviewed the research, and found that children of divorce adjust to being raised in two different homes, and the kids wind up being happier and doing better in school because both of their parents are involved in their upbringing. Vilsack says the change could be the most significant thing the Iowa Legislature did in 2004. Vilsack says lawmakers — in passing the bill — are declaring that they believe it’s important that both parents remain involved in raising their children after a divorce.
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