Designing a Shared Parenting Report Card

Session : Workshop 1-1: Current Status of Research on Shared Parenting and Family Violence

  • Time : 10:05 am PDT To 11:20 am PDT on
  • Venue : Virtual Room 1

Full Abstract

In 2014, National Parents Organization undertook the first comprehensive evaluation of the child custody laws of the 50 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, which resulted in the 2014 NPO Shared Parenting Report Card. This report graded the states on the degree to which their child custody statutes facilitated and promoted equal shared parenting. Last year, NPO issued the 2019 NPO Shared Parenting Report Card, which employed updated methodology to evaluate the then current statutes in the U.S. While the updated methodology prevents exact comparisons between the results of the two reports at the individual state level, NPO did find signs of significant improvement in the five years between these two studies. While no states received ‘A’s in the 2014 report, two did in 2019. And there was a significant upward shift at the lower level: the number of states receiving ‘C’s increased from 18 to 26 and the number receiving ‘D’s decreased from 23 to 14. The NPO Report Cards have received a positive response from the media. Results of the 2019 Report Card were covered by both national and local media. NPO believes that the tools developed for the NPO Report Cards can be useful instruments for shared parenting organizations in other countries and regions to clearly illustrate disparities within their country or between their country and others, and to highlight deficiencies in their country’s child custody laws. The most significant improvement in the methodology of the report was the transition to an algorithmic scoring of the state statutes, which decreased the potential for inconsistency in the scoring of the state statutes. The factors used to evaluate and score the states’ custody statutes and the weightings they were given in the algorithm will be discussed. NPO will share these tools with our sister shared parenting organizations in other countries.