I have been referring the past few posts to Pierre and a trip the Cowboy and I have been planning on taking to the capitol.. versus what was supposed to have been a weekend in Arizona with friends.
We stayed home because the Cowboy, devastated by the ongoing trials he is being confronted with in regard to any time with his children .. we would like to say, have to stop. But there are few resources it seems available, if any, besides an attorney. And even that, for decades, we’ve learned has gotten father’s (and some mothers) like the Cowboy, who simply want to care for, help raise, love, support and be a part of their children’s lives after divorce, nowhere. In fact, its been so disheartening, many have dropped the fight.
But could there be hope?
There is a lot of discussion right now happening around a bill scheduled to be reintroduced into the South Dakota state legislature. But perhaps not enough discussion..
The fight for shared parenting and legislation to support it, has gone on now for years here in the Mount Rushmore state. Judges, attorneys and the like here .. have maintained for generations that what is in the best interest of the children of divorce, is majority time with one parent, leaving the other with little to say, little time to do anything with their kids and little recourse.
But elsewhere, even in my own home state of Wisconsin where joint legal custody is the norm, the Cowboy would have had at least a chance to fight.
South Dakota’s shared parenting legislation is lagging behind approximately 38 other state’s who have long adopted the principal that parents going through divorce come to the table on even ground. That equal time with both parents is in the best interest of the child (other than in cases where there is abuse). And that the burden of proof for any arrangement otherwise lies with the parent filing for majority custody.
Somehow those ideals just don’t seem right to those representing people like the Cowboy. Or at least it seems that used to be the case. We’re hoping the times baby, they are a changin’.
The Cowboy hopes by sharing his story.. legislators in his home state may finally reverse some of the pain he and his children have been put through .. and if not for them, for the other fathers (and mothers) that will inevitably follow in his footsteps.
It’s been a couple years since the Cowboy was last in Pierre. He often will rope in the Fourth of July Rodeo. And he’s won it several times.
We’re hoping today is a win too..