Walter Washington 0

Seek Justice for Actively Involved Parents

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Amend Arkansas Family Law & Others States' Similar to It

This petition is for the parents who play an active and vital role in their child or children’s lives. Unfortunately, for unmarried parents, the laws currently in place in Arkansas and states like it presumably assign one parent to be a “custodial parent” and the other as a “noncustodial parent”, without making a reasonable assessment to determining whether this is the best decision to make in regards to the child or children. Therefore, this injustice causes an inequality for parents who are present in their child or children’s live by way of multiple levels of support. The laws possibly do this because traditionally one parent is the breadwinner while the other raises the child or children, but times change, and with the change of times comes a need for change of laws. Not all laws from yesteryear are applicable to today and the future, and that is why this petition urges lawmakers to revise statues such as “Arkansas Code of 1987 Title 9: Family Law (Subtitle 2: Domestic Relations).” to reflect the 21st century. If both parents play an equal role, then both parents should have equal parenting rights protected by the law, which leads this discussion to the concept of shared parenting.

Shared parenting refers to a collective agreement in child custody in which the care of the children is equal or substantially shared between the biological parents. More and more parents today are moving away from the traditional custody agreements that consist of a “custodial parent” and “noncustodial parent”. Instead, they are opting for shared parenting. In a shared (or joint) parenting agreement, both parents have almost equal physical custodial time with their children. Moreover, both parents are responsible for making the important decisions in their child's life. Shared parenting is a valiant attempt by both parents to be involved in their child's life for the benefit of the child. Shared parenting heavily involves both parents and does not mean that one parent has the kids almost all of the time with occasional visits to the other parent. This type of parenting is one of the best ways for unmarried parents to work together in the best interest of their child or children, especially when both parents are truly active in their child or children’s lives. Having both parents in a child’s life as true equals is in the best interest of the child. Out with the “Custodial/Noncustodial” and in with “Equal, Fair, and Balanced Parenting”. Shared parenting is more effective than ¾ parenting from one parent and ¼ parenting from the other and vice-versa. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule when one parent is inactive or significantly less active in a child’s life.

Shared parenting is great if both parents do it! Although, there has been a dark past of have the experience of one parent not being in their lives as much as they should or at times not being in their lives period. Those individuals most definitely do not need or deserve same rights as a true parent who is there day in and day out and actively present in their child’s life. Individuals who are not mature enough to be responsible parents make it difficult for those who are. This cause some of them fight back through use of the court system, but can end up being futile because the burden of proving that the other parent is “unfit” is left up to them to substantiate although the point of “fit” or “unfit” is not necessarily an issue. A hardworking parent who has a major part in their child’s life should not have to resort to such madness only to possibly secure their rights as a parent. The law should be in the best interest of the child, and having both parents in a child’s life as true equals when both play pivotal roles in the child’s life is in the best interest of the child.

In conclusion, please fight for equal parental rights for both parents in Arkansas, regardless of marital status. Contact your state and federal legislatures today to amend laws such as Arkansas Code of 1987 Title 9: Family Law (Subtitle 2: Domestic Relations) and others. For those looking to make a positive change in a child’s life, please visit Also, please email any feedback to If lawmakers are unwilling to fulfill the requests of this petition, then they at the least can insert a clause that requires the courts to review each case and situation individually.

Thank you for your time and review of this petition.


Mr. Walter L. Washington, Jr.

(501) 420-2982


Mr. Walter L. Washington, Jr. (501) 420-2982


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