More than a quarter of our kids are being raised by just one parent. Some Heartland fathers feel like they don't have the parenting rights they deserve. Two Nebraska state lawmakers are trying to change that.
Joe Trader thought he had all the evidence he needed in the custody hearing for his daughter Gracie; but the judge decided otherwise. “I wasn't going to let a decision that has been given to fathers for years determine what kind of father i was going to be able to be to my child.”
Up before the unicameral this year are two bills focusing on father's rights.
State Senator Galen Hadley's bill wants to bring laws made years ago up to today's times. “I think this bill is looking more at modern society and trying to come up with a parenting plan that tries to deal with the kind of conditions we find in modern divorce.”
Senator Russ Karpisek wants to go one step further; holding judges accountable for the decisions they make.
Trader says both bills show progress. “Any benefit, any increase in time or really any acknowledgment of the equal parenting an how important it is a huge stride,” he said.
Trader's main goal is for more time with his little girl, Gracie. “Let Nebraska know we're tired of being just child support, we want to be parents.”
One of the bill would also make it so each parent is entitled to at least 45% of the year spent with their child. That could be over-turned, but a judge would have to cite a reason why.