Wisconsin State Senator Introduces Bill That Would Associate Single Parenthood With Child Abuse

March 15, 2012
By Wessel, Lehker & Fumelle Inc. on March 15, 2012 3:04 PM |

1152328_kids_at_play sxchu.jpgWisconsin Senator Glenn Grothman has sponsored a bill in the state legislature that would make single parenthood a recognized contributing factor to child abuse and neglect. Senate Bill 507 would require the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to teach that children are less likely to be abused or neglected in a so-called traditional household consisting of both of a child's parents. The bill was co-sponsored by State Representative Donald Pridemore.

Critics of Senate Bill 507 believe its wording will create a slippery slope for single parents in the state. Senator Lena Taylor, a single parent herself, has expressed outrage over the bill. She believes Senate Bill 507 is blatantly hostile towards women. According to Nicole Angresano of the Milwaukee United Way, the language is non-inclusive and unnecessarily divisive. Angresano believes Grothman has unfairly placed all single parents into the same category.

According to Grothman, the intent of the proposed law is being misunderstood by the public. He said the bill is aimed at promoting public awareness regarding child abuse and neglect. Grothman stated he is not trying to make state law call single parents child abusers. Grothman claims children are 20 times more likely to experience abuse in households where they are not raised by both natural parents. He believes the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board should be teaching that a traditional family is a superior way of raising children.

In 2009, more than one-fourth of children under 21 in the United States lived with a single parent. Single mothers also reportedly outnumbered single fathers by a ratio of 5 to 1. In Wisconsin, approximately one-third of all parents are single. Senate Bill 507 would not establish criminal or civil penalties for single parents, but would affect what the state-funded the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board teaches. The board currently has an annual budget of $3 million.

Family law is an emotional subject due to its very nature. Every year, many Wisconsin residents find themselves in the midst of an unexpected divorce. The host of emotions associated with the end of a marriage can be understandably overwhelming and the financial damage can oftentimes feel devastating. One of the best ways to deal with divorce is to prepare yourself and your children for the possible emotional roller coaster. If you are contemplating divorce, a qualified family law attorney can help you protect your interests.

If you find yourself facing a divorce or other stressful family law matter, contact Wessel, Lehker & Fumelle, Inc. Our experienced Madison family law attorneys are available to assist you with a collaborative divorce, financial mediation, interstate child custody disputes, and other family law matters. To speak with a diligent and hardworking lawyer today, contact Wessel, Lehker & Fumelle through our website or call us at (608) 256-1480.

More Blogs:

Wisconsin Child Custody: Medical Decisions Before Birth, Wisconsin Family Lawyer Blog, October 24, 2011

Child Support Oral Argument in Wisconsin Supreme Court Scheduled for October 6, Wisconsin Family Lawyer Blog, September 14, 2011

Additional Resources:

State Senator's Bill On Single Parenting Stirs Up Controversy, wisn.com

According to a Wisconsin Bill, Single Moms Are a Child Abuse Threat, by Bonnie Rochman, Time