Fathers fight for 'shared parenting' - FOX Carolina 21

Fathers fight for 'shared parenting'

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Peter Kucera is a father in deep thought.

"I have one daughter right now who's in elementary school and I love her as much as any parent could imagine loving another human being," he said.

He is divorced and is now supporting a proposed bill that, if passed, may allow him to have what he calls "shared parenting."

"I currently have the standard custody right now where I get to see my child every other weekend and one day every other week. It boils down to six days a month. It's not sufficient, we need to be together more, we miss each other," he said.

Right now, the House bill known as H. 4095 states lawmakers would amend the law to show that if joint custody is awarded it would mean equal amount of time with their children.

"You're working toward the best interest of the child," Rep. Dwight Loftis said.

He represents Greenville District 19 and is a co-sponsor of the bill.

"Even in a bad situation, that child usually loves both parents. Both parents usually love the child, so you want to make the best of a worst situation," he said.

And that's why Joe Carter, a father of three who is divorced created the website South Carolina Coalition 4 Parents & Children.

"We're not here to promote negativity for women or children. We are here simply for equality," Carter said.

He said he often feels like a visitor instead of a father because of the limited time he's allowed to see his children.

"We do not want children or women to be stuck in abusive or neglectful relationships, but barring those two issues that we believe children should have equal access to their mother and their father," he said.

And although both fathers feel they're treated unfairly, they said it's really unfair to the children who are involved.

FOX Carolina learned that some women's groups want to make sure fathers with a history of violence or dead beat dads can't find loopholes in the law to benefit them.

State Rep. Michael Pitts out of the Upstate's district 14 introduced the bill. He said when lawmakers go back in session Tuesday, they will work on verbiage in the bill to make sure that doesn't happen. A review by Wake Forest University law students showed when parents don't get along, shared custody may not be in the best interest of the child. However, the same review showed when parents do have a good relationship, then it may also be in the best interest of the child.

For more information on the bill and the South Carolina Coalition 4 Parents & Children, visit www.scc4pc.org.

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