Polling and Voting Results on Shared Parenting

Public Polls & Votes

Canada Nanos poll 2017   Details 70% Favor Shared Parenting
USA Pew Research Center Poll   Details 70% Favor equal bonding time for new babies
USA Maryland 2016   Details 63% Favor Shared Parenting
USA Poll 2015   Details Various results
Canada Poll 2014   Details 72% Favor Shared Parenting
Canada Poll 2000   Details 71% Favor Shared Parenting
Canada Poll 2007   Details 79.1% Favor Shared Parenting
Canada Poll 2009   Details 78% Favor Shared Parenting
Belgium Poll 2012   Details 69.5% Favor Shared Parenting
Holland Poll 2012   Details 71% Favor Shared Parenting
United Kingdom Poll 2013   Details 84% Favor Shared Parenting
USA Massachusetts Vote 2004   Details 86% Favor Shared Parenting
USA North Dakota Vote 2006   Details 43% Favor Shared Parenting
USA North Dakota, Walsh County Vote 2012   Details 66% Favor Shared Parenting
USA North Dakota, Pre Vote Poll 2014   Details 44% Favor Shared Parenting
30% Opposed
26% Undecided
USA North Dakota, Measure 6 Vote 2014   Details 37.91% Favor Shared Parenting

Legislative Votes

North Dakota House & Senate Vote 2017   Details Various results
kentucky House & Senate Vote 2017   Details 100% Favor Shared Parenting
North Dakota House Vote 2017   Details 77% Favor Shared Parenting
Iowa House Vote 2016   Details 58% Favor Shared Parenting
Missouri Senate Vote 2016   Details 100% Favor Shared Parenting
Missouri House Vote 2016   Details 98.7% Favor Shared Parenting
Florida Senate Vote 2016   Details 63% Favor Shared Parenting
Florida House Vote 2016   Details 66% Favor Shared Parenting
Utah Senate Vote 2015   Details 100% Favor Shared Parenting
Utah House Vote 2015   Details 98.5% Favor Shared Parenting
Canada Vote 2014   Details 31% Favor Shared Parenting
South Dakota Senate Vote 2014   Details 100% Favor Shared Parenting
South Dakota House Vote 2014   Details 97% Favor Shared Parenting
Florida Senate Vote 2013   Details 72.5% Favor Shared Parenting
Florida House Vote 2013   Details 73.3% Favor Shared Parenting
Minnesota Senate Vote 2012   Details 70.8% Favor Shared Parenting
Minnesota House Vote 2012   Details 60.2% Favor Shared Parenting
South Dakota Senate Vote 2013   Details 38.2% Favor Shared Parenting
South Dakota House Vote 2013   Details 76.8% Favor Shared Parenting
Arkansas Senate Vote 2013   Details 84.8% Favor Shared Parenting
Arkansas House Vote 2013   Details 95.5% Favor Shared Parenting
Arizona Senate Vote 2012   Details 100% Favor Shared Parenting
Arizona House Vote 2012   Details 83.6% Favor Shared Parenting
Georgia House Vote 2007 98.8% Favor Shared Parenting

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Canada: 2017 - Nanos Poll

"There is strong support among Canadians with regards to equal parenting legislation in child custody cases.
  • Over two in three Canadians strongly support or somewhat support legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases – When asked their support for federal and provincial legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases, a majority of Canadians say they strongly support (35%) or somewhat support (35%) this, while nine per cent somewhat oppose and four per cent strongly oppose it. Seventeen per cent are unsure.
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between August 30th and September 1st, 2017 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by the Canadian Association for Equality."
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Canada: 2014 - Vision Critical

"As you may or may not be aware, a bill is being debated in Parliament that would affect rulings about child custody for divorcing parents. This bill would require courts to rule in favour of equal shared parenting except in cases involving proven neglect or abuse. In other words, this bill would make it clearer that cases where there is no proven neglect or abuse, both parents would have shared custody of the children."
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Canada: 2000 - Pollara Report

Canadian Department of Justice commissioned a report based upon the results of a national survey testing responses to child support advertising and attitudes about child support issues (page 3) and concluded:

"There is overwhelming agreement with the idea that the Government should encourage joint or shared custody arrangements. Overall, 71% of Canadians agree with that. Interestingly, there is no gender divide on this point – woman and men agree in equal numbers. There is a weak relationship with age, however, and the older one is the more likely one is to feel strongly that joint or shared custody arrangements should be encouraged. People who currently have children at home also agree strongly with this proposition. The only group of people who are not enthusiastic proponents are custodial parents receiving child support. Even there only 24 disagree but many are neutral or lukewarm." (Page 16)
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Canada: 2007 – SES Research/Nanos Research

SES Research / Nanos Research asked "Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose federal and provincial legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases." Overall, 79.1% supported, including; 78.9% of females, 79.3% of males, 79.7% of liberals and 81.1% of conservatives.
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Canada: 2009 – Nanos Research

Nanos Research asked "Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or oppose federal and provincial legislation to create a presumption of equal parenting in child custody cases?" Overall, 78.0%supported, including; 78.3% of females, 77.7% of males, 80.6% of liberals and 77.8% of conservatives.
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Belgium: 2012 National Public Poll

On average in Belgium 69.5% of those interviewed consider the egalitarian as accommodation for being the best system among the three proposals.
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Holland: 2012 National Public Poll

In a poll of the Dutch public 71% said they agreed with co-parenting after divorce. And despite feminist protests against the concept of shared or co-parenting, Dutch women more than men favored the newer regime – 76% as opposed to 67% of men.
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UK: 2013 National Public Poll

84% say both parents deserve equal custody rights; 85% say fathers are instrumental to child's life.
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USA: Pew Research Center Poll

70% favor equal bonding time for infants
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USA: 2016 Maryland Polling Results

63% support shared parenting
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USA: 2015 NCSC Public Opinion Survey

1,000+ Registered Voters (plus African American oversample) were polled on the state of state courts. Included in the results are the following findings:
  • Concerns about inefficiency and unfairness are deep-seated and real
  • Only 54% believe are unbiased in their case decisions
  • Respondents who reported direct contact with the courts give lower ratings on customer service and job performance
  • Concerns persist about the influence of politics and personal beliefs in case decision making
  • The poor, African American's and divorced fathers are treated differently / worst by the courts
  • 49% believe state court operations "need a complete overhaul
Read more
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USA: 2004 Massachusetts, Non-Binding Ballot Initiative

Over 600,000 voters were asked "Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation requiring that in all separation and divorce proceedings involving minor children, the court shall uphold the fundamental rights of both parents to the shared physcal and legal custody of their children and the children's right to maximize their time with each parent, so far as is practical, unless one parent is found unfit or the parents agree otherwise, subject to the requirements of existing child support and abuse prevention laws? " - 86% voted in support.[1]

1In an unprecedented landslide, National Parents Organization's 2004 ballot measure for joint physical custody of children passed by an 86-14% margin. The lopsided margin of victory was greater than that of any elected official in Massachusetts. Read more
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USA: 2008 North Dakota Ballot Initiative

State wide Shared Parenting Ballot initiative is defeated 57% to 43%.
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USA: 2012 Walsh County, North Dakota Ballot Initiative

In a follow up to the State wide initiative a Countywide Shared Parenting Ballot initiative passes 66% to 34%.
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USA: North Dakota Pre Vote Poll 2014

North Dakota’s Measure 6 may have support from a majority of potential voters, but a significant number are still undecided, according to a new poll.
* Vote / Poll was taken on Equal Parenting Legislation
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USA: North Dakota Measure 6 Vote 2014

State wide Shared Parenting Ballot initiative is defeated 62.09% to 37.91%.
* Vote / Poll was taken on Equal Parenting Legislation

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CANADA: Parliment Vote 2014

Bill C-560 - An Act to amend the Divorce Act (equal parenting) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Defeated 80-174 or 31% in favor
* Vote / Poll was taken on Equal Parenting Legislation
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USA: North Dakota House & Vote 2017

Vote was only on a "Definition" of shared parenting and not on a presumption of shared parenting in family courts.

Passes North Dakota Senate 60% in favor

Passes North Dakota House 77% in favor

Fails in North Dakota Senate 28% in favor

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USA: Kentucky House & Vote 2017

House & senate vote 100% in favor

AN ACT relating to temporary custody orders.
Amend KRS 403.280 to create a presumption of joint custody in temporary custody orders and to have prior parental custody agreements become the court's orders..

Passes Kentucky house & senate 100% in favor

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USA: North Dakota House Vote 2017

House vote 77% in favor

A BILL for an Act to to amend and reenact section 14‑09‑00.1 and subsection 1 of section 14‑09‑29 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to a presumption of equal parenting time and responsibility; and to provide for a legislative management study.

Passes North Dakota House 77% in favor

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USA: Iowa House Vote 2016

House vote 58% in favor

The Iowa House voted Wednesday to change how custody is handled when parents separate or divorce by requiring judges to award joint legal custody as well as joint physical custody of their children

Passes Iowa House 58% in favor

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USA: Utah Senate/House Vote 2015

Senate vote 100% in favor
House vote 98.5% in favor

HB 0035, This bill:
  • creates an optional parent-time schedule of 145 overnights;
  • sets holiday schedules;
  • and provides for specific elections by the noncustodial parent.


Passes Utah Senate 100% in favor; House 98.5% in favor

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USA: Missouri Senate Vote 2016

Senate vote 28-0 in favor

HB 1550, which prohibits courts from presuming a parent is more qualified to be a guardian based on his or her sex, passes the Missouri senate 28-0.

Passes Missouri Senate 28-0 or 100% in favor

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USA: Missouri Senate Vote 2016

Senate vote 28-0 in favor

HB 1550, which prohibits courts from presuming a parent is more qualified to be a guardian based on his or her sex, passes the Missouri senate 28-0.

Passes Missouri Senate 28-0 or 100% in favor

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USA: Missouri House Vote 2016

House vote 154-2 in favor

HB 1550, which prohibits courts from presuming a parent is more qualified to be a guardian based on his or her sex, passes the Missouri house 154-2.

Passes Missouri House 154-2 or 98.7% in favor

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USA: Florida Legislative Vote 2016

House vote 74-38 in favor; Senate vote 24-14 in favor

SB 668 makes various changes to laws relating to the amount and duration of alimony awards, grounds, and procedures for modifying an alimony award due to a substantial change in circumstances, and timesharing with children

Passes Florida Senate 24-14 or 63% in favor
Passes Florida House 74-38 or 66% in favor

Vetoed by Governor Rick Scott (R)
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USA: South Dakota Legislative Vote 2014

House vote 68-2 in favor; Senate vote 38-0 in favor

This year's bill is based on an Iowa custody law and is designed to give children substantial time with both parents. It does not establish a presumption of equal parenting and judges will still have the final say in assigning custody. But nearly everyone agrees it is a step forward for families in South Dakota.

Passes South Dakota House 68-2 or 97% in favor
Passes South Dakota Senate 38-0 or 100% in favor

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USA: Florida Legislative Vote 2013

Total Vote 114-42 or 73.1% in favor

Alimony reform bill which also places in statute a presumption that equal time sharing with a minor child by both parents is presumed to be in the best interest of the child unless the court finds a parent is unfit.

Passes Florida Senate 29-11 or 72.5% in favor
Passes Florida House 85-31 or 73.3% in favor

Vetoed by Governor Rick Scott (R)
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Minnesota Legislative Vote 2012

Total Vote 126-72 or 63.6% in favor
Scott’s bill creates a presumption of joint legal and physical shared parenting — "equal" defined by the bill as 45.1 percent of custodial time — for the courts to use in determining child custody.
Passes Florida Senate 29-11 or 72.5% in favor

Under the bill courts would presume that each parent is entitled to 35% of custody of their children. The remaining 30% would be negotiated or the divorcing parents would reach their own child custody agreement.
Passes Senate 46-19 or 70.8% in favor

Vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton (D)
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USA: South Dakota Legislative Vote 2011 / 2013

Total vote 66-37 or 64.1% in favor; bill did not pass in Senate

House Bill 1255 passed 53-16 Wednesday afternoon. It would require that divorce filings begin with the understanding that both parents would share physical custody of their children. The bill also would force judges who stray from the 50-50 custody assumption to provide a written explanation.

Passes House 53-16 or 76.8% in favor
Does not pass Senate 21-13 or 61.8% opposed
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USA: Arkansas Legislative Vote 2013

Total vote 113-9 or 92.6% in favor

Language of the act calls for courts to favor joint legal custody. The Act goes further to define joint legal custody as meaning "approximate and reasonable equal division of time with the child by both parents." The act further states the court may order this arrangement at its discretion, it is not necessary that the parents be in agreement about joint legal custody for it to happen. Additionally the law states that a parent who creates conflict or attempts to disrupt a joint custody arrangement may lose custody to the non-disruptive parent.

Passes Senate 28 – 5 or 84.8% in favor
Passes House 85- 4 or 95.5% in favor
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USA: Arizona Legislative Vote 2012

Total vote 74 -9 or 89.2% in favor

The new custody law encourages joint parenting, including requiring the court to adopt a plan that "maximizes" both parents’ time with the child and forbids the court from giving one parent preference based on the parent’s or child’s gender. Physical custody will now be called parenting time and legal custody will now be called legal decision-making authority. Under the new law, the court now must fine any parent who lies to the court or tries to delay court proceedings. Before, such fines had been optional. There are also stricter reporting requirements for parents to notify the other parent when they move a significant distance away. “It changes a lot of things,” said Mesa family-law attorney Billie Tarascio. "We are moving away from the every-other-weekend custody arrangements or mom automatically being named the custodial parent."

Passes House 46-9 or 83.6% in favor
Passes Senate 28-0 or 100% in favor
Arizona Central - New Child Custody Law