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LETTER: ‘Shared parenting’ plan deserves better from Omdahl

I am writing in response to Herald columnist Lloyd Omdahl’s column, “Ballot measures spice up November election” (Page A4, Aug. 18).

I am appalled at Omdahl’s misleading words.

First of all, no one will be “forcing” equal parenting rights and responsibilities, equal parenting time, equal primary residential responsibility and equal decision-making on parents involved in a divorce. If this measure passes, parents will have the right to petition the court if they choose.

Oddly enough, there are children who don’t have a say in these situations but would love nothing more than to have both parents involved in their lives. Social science research, which is widely available, is clear that the involvement of two fit parents in a child’s life benefits the child.

Second, Omdahl’s claim that the amendment will enable “disgruntled divorcees to bypass the normal judicial process for determining parenting ground rules” is ludicrous. Our courts are well-equipped to determine if a parent is unfit.

It saddens me that someone can publish misleading information to try to discredit the importance of this issue. Our children — not only in North Dakota, but everywhere — need our help.

I think we need to stop and think about what is truly in the best interest of kids, not personal interest.

Jill Bjerke

Park River, N.D.

Bjerke is the chairman of the Sponsoring Committee for Shared Parenting in North Dakota.