Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill that will require judges to consider how to maximize both parents involvement in their child’s life when making custody decisions, reported The Associated Press.
While other factors will be considered as well, the media outlet said the requirement may lead some judges to increase visitation time and designate equal 50-50 custody more often. Supporters of the legislation say judges should be presented with the tools needed to do what is in the best interest of a child, according to the AP.
The law will only apply to new custody cases. The source said parents under older court orders will have to demonstrate a considerable change in circumstances to alter their visitation and custody schedules.
The legislation passed 92-0 in the state House of Representatives and 19-9 in the Senate. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Andy Berke of Chattanooga.
The approval comes amidst a series of family law proposals in Tennessee. The state Supreme Court is set to decide a case that could determine how alimony is awarded between a divorced couple, in addition to another case pertaining to paternity fraud.