PIERRE, S.D. — A bill that would provide a rebuttal presumption in favor of joint physical custody of a minor child passed through the South Dakota House of Representatives.
House Bill 1133 passed through the House on a vote of 41-25 Thursday, Feb. 20.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Tamara St. John, R-Sisseton, said she has two brothers who have been alienated from their children.
"The grief and pain that a person would feel, only somebody that’s been through it would really know," St. John said, adding more states are passing shared parenting laws.
Rep. Taffy Howard, R-Rapid City, recalled her own experiences as being alienated from her father as a child.
"I wish I had more time with my dad. Moms and dads are equally important. Lets at least start with that," Howard said.
While the bill favors joint custody, their is a rebuttal presumption where a parent can dispute shared custody, such as if a spouse has a history of domestic abuse.
Rep. Tom Pischke, R-Dell Rapids, offered an amendment to the bill that was approved by the House, and explained how the bill is in support of what's best for the child.
"We’re stating that equal time with both parents is in the best interest of the child. This bill presents a change to child custody laws that is truly is in the best interest of the child," Pischke said.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will be heard in committee.