We, the members of The South Dakota Coalition For Shared Parenting, hereby dedicate ourselves and our efforts to the creation of a family law system, legislative system, and public awareness which promotes equal rights for ALL parties affected by divorce, the breakup of a family or establishment of paternity. It is our belief through our involvement and dedication, we can have a positive effect on the emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being of children.
WE believe children have the right to equal, responsible shared parenting, equal access and opportunity with both parents, the right to be guided and nurtured by both parents and the right to have decisions made by the use of both parents' wisdom, judgment and experience.
WE believe equal, shared parenting time or joint physical custody is the optimal custody situation and that responsibility in all areas should be distributed coequally between them.
WE believe grandparents and extended relatives who are close to children should have rights and access to their grandchildren and relatives.
WE believe gender bias should be eliminated from family law and from future legislation.
WE believe in the concept of fairness and equity in support for ALL families; and, that all children involved in a blended family should have equal rights, and deserve equal rights and equal protection under the law.
WE believe that the "Best Interest of the Child" doctrine should also include the "Best interest of the Family" and that the health of the family as a whole has a direct impact on the children.
WE believe child support orders should be reasonable, realistically reflect the cost of the children's basic needs and reflect the relative parenting contribution of both parents in a shared parenting plan.
WE believe when parents are given equal rights, equal responsibility follows; when parents have equal access to their children and support levels are reasonable and reflect the true cost of raising a child, collaboration and cooperation is fostered. When equity is established between parents, positive growth will thrive within families.
WE believe when equity is created in our laws, the conflicts inherent in divorce situations dissolve and that, in the end, this is the greatest gift which we, as parents, could possibly bestow on our children.