I recently downloaded a copy of the Minnesota Joint Physical Child Custody Presumption Study Group Report which was issued on January 14, 2009. This document is 284 pages in length so I am going to try to compress this for you into 10 parts that will be presented over about a three week period. I encourage you to ask questions about the material presented so I can provide answers as part of subsequent postings.
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Minnesota State Legislature Charge to State Court Administrator
In 2008, the Minnesota Legislature directed the state court administrator to convene a Study Group to consider the potential impact of adoption of a joint physical child custody presumption. Members of the Study Group were appointed in August, 2008, and the Study Group met on September 22, October 27, November 24, and December 15, 2008.
Here is the statute mandating the creation of the study group.
Minn. Laws 2008, Chapter 299, Sec. 25. JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY; STUDY GROUP.
(a) The state court administrator shall convene a study group of 12 members to consider the impact that a presumption of joint physical custody would have in Minnesota. The evaluation must consider the positive and negative impact on parents and children of adopting a presumption of joint physical custody, the fiscal impact of adopting this presumption, and the experiences of other states that have adopted a presumption of joint physical custody. The study must consider data and information from academic and research professionals.
(b) In appointing members to the study group, the state court administrator must ensure that the viewpoint of parent advocacy groups, academics, policy analysts, judges, court administrators, attorneys, domestic violence advocates, citizen members who are not associated with a parent advocacy group, and other interested parties are represented. At least one member of the study group must be a representative of the Department of Human Services. The state court administrator must consult with the chairs and ranking minority members of the budget and policy committees in the house and senate with jurisdiction over family law on the composition of the working group. The state court administrator shall report to the legislature on the evaluation of presumption of joint physical custody, the experiences of other states, and recommendations made by the study group no later than January 15, 2009.
The study group was comprised of 12 members from various backgrounds. While the mandate by the legislature is that both the positive and negative viewpoints must be presented the group consisted primarily of representatives who are already in opposition to Shared Parenting. The report individually addresses many aspects of Shared Parenting and did include public input. I have separated my review of this report into 10 parts which I have listed below.
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part II
The Status Quo in Minnesota; statute, data, perceived pros and cons
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part III
Joint Physical Child Custody Presumptions
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part IV
Other Jurisdictions and Potential Positive and Negative Impacts
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part V
Study Group Discussion of the Impact of a Presumption of Joint Physical Custody
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part VI
Fiscal Impact of Adopting a Joint Physical Child Custody Presumption
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part VII
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part VIII
Survey of States
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part IX
Assessing Social Science Research
Minnesota Shared Parenting Report - Part X
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