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The Minnesota Legislature passed a bill this year to give the non-custodial parent at least 35 percent parenting time, up from 25percent. While many experts agree that children need access to both parents in most situations, the trend is not without controversy.Activists for mothers’ rights say the laws are a ploy to help fathers.“It’s a change that I think is generally for the better on parenting time — if it’s interpreted the way I think it will be interpreted,” Morton said.“I think judges will be looking for ways to maximize time the non-primary parent will have with the child.Unlike Arizona, which gives the judge authority to decide exactly how much time each parent gets, many states have minimum requirements.
A new Arizona law goes into effect Jan.1 that may change how much time divorced parents get to spend with their children.Under the new law, the court now must fine any parent who lies to the court or tries to delay court proceedings. There are also stricter reporting requirements for parents to notify the other parent when they move a significant distance away.“It changes a lot of things,” said Mesa family-law attorney Billie Tarascio.Arizona’s new law still requires judges to make decisions based on the children’s best interest, but their best interest now includes maximum time for both parents.And the state law is clear that maximum parenting would not apply to an abusive parent.
“We are moving away from the every-other-weekend custody arrangements or mom automatically being named the custodial parent.” The Arizona Supreme Court does not keep data on how judges rule in custody cases.