“I’m going to bed,” the Cowboy says after a story airs tonight that we were hoping might help get the word out about Thursdays hearing at the state capitol on shared parenting legislation.
He’s pretty upset. (I’m hoping me write about it doesn’t make him more-so)
“I should never have done this. It was a bad idea,” he says very sadly.
One of the Sioux Falls TV stations did a report with the Cowboy tonight .. after we reached out to them and some others, on the issue of Senate Bill 60 and House Bill 1055 going before the Senate Judiciary this Thursday.
(A quick synopsis of the legislation:)
The issue is joint physical custody and placement of children in a divorce. Current state law in South Dakota works under the very outdated premise, that kids suffer when given equal time with two loving parents. It states they should live primarily with one. (One argument is because it’s just too tough for them to go between homes, even if parents live within close proximity. Recent studies show that is not at all, the case.)
Both bills, one more-so than the other, would offer the non-custodial parent a better chance to fight for equal placement.
One very stingy Senator/Family Law Atty among others, we understand would love nothing more than this issue to go away. Again. The Cowboy feels that is unacceptable.
So, with a suggestions from me, he offered to share his story if it would help.
I’m not sure if I wish I were there in South Dakota at the moment, because I could have potentially better ensured all facts were relayed to the reporter who came out to do the story.. because I think like a reporter, because that is also what I do for my day job.
Or if I could just be there to console the Cowboy.
I say that because there were a few factual errors in the story. (that have since mostly been corrected after a call into the newsroom) He still now feels like he looks worse to a whole lot more people than he ever could have to begin with.
For what it’s worth, I’m thinking,.. people really don’t watch the news all that closely and will probably have forgotten most of the details anyway. They won’t remember what he’s stressing about.. I’m sure his -ex might. If she knows about the story at all. Which I’m fairly certain by now she’s heard. But most people will not have any idea. And those who might judge him based on the incorrect statements made, well, they can go play by themselves in the sandbox quite honestly.
The Cowboy is one of the most kind hearted, loving, good, God fearing, humble and giving souls you will ever meet. And that’s to a stranger. To the kiddos, he’s all that and more.
(For the record, the Cowboy has joint custody. Which most couples do. But the children’s mother has primary placement. These were among the incorrect statements made in the story. Regardless, not having primary placement means the Cowboy, in South Dakota is lucky to get 4 days/month with his kids and a couple hours one night ea. week. Amazingly, he feels fortunate because that’s more than many in his shoes get.
But not fortunate enough to let a ridiculous situation slide…)
The most recent studies will tell you, both parents typically, if possible, want an equal role. And the kids want the same. They want to feel free to love both parents and spend time with them equally. It is what is best for them. All around. (Almost always but not always)
Unfortunately, kids are often told until they’re 12, their opinion doesn’t count. Don’t even get me started on that.
The fact of the matter is, important points were made in the story that aired, which people WILL remember.
Such as: there is an incredible imbalance in South Dakota parental placement in the event of a divorce and something needs to change.
Such as: oh my .. there’s actually a bill our legislators are going to debate on this issue? I know so-and-so is going through a divorce and I wonder if they know.. (you know, word of mouth to do something good, even when its slightly incorrect, can be helpful)
Such as: a reminder we all have a voice. And our elected officials are there to represent us. Does your Representative or Senator have a fair and accurate idea of where you stand on Senate Bill 60?
Or, House Bill 1055? Do you even know who your legislators are? Look them up. And raise your voice. These bills, these proposed changes are nothing to be feared. They will instead, be celebrated in many homes, should one actually pass this year into law.
Perhaps in tonights story some of the facts were a bit distorted. Or just wrong. Most have been corrected. Too late for the Cowboy to have gone off to bed feeling ok about the whole deal. But we live and we learn and hopefully if there ever is a next time, he knows better what to say to be correctly represented.
I hope he wakes in the morning feeling better about the whole deal. But then again, it may depend on how a state newspaper tells its story. That.. I believe, is set to hit newsstands come the break of day ..