Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A.
Local:505-796-6238 Toll-Free:888-350-5903
Map & Directions Menu

Shared parenting on the horizon

When couples in New Mexico and elsewhere around the country divorced, the norm was that the children stayed with the mother in the family home while dad moved to an apartment, made monthly child support payments and saw the kids every other weekend. Now, a growing number of advocates are arguing that shared child custody should be the norm. In some states, shared parenting may even become the law.

In a number of states, there are laws that favor an award of custody to one parent over the other except in extraordinary cases. Shared parenting advocates oppose such laws, arguing that it is in the best interests of the child to spend equal time with both parents. Some states are considering legislation that would require the court in a divorce proceeding to make a reasonably equal split of the children's time between both parents. Other states are reviewing whether there should be a legal presumption that shared custody is in the child's best interests.

There are several factors contributing to the increased interest in shared parenting laws. First, gender roles are changing. More women work and more men are staying home as caretakers. Second, a majority of Americans supports the idea of split custody. Finally, there is a backlash among non-custodial parents who are frustrated by having less say over their children than the custodial parents. Opponents of shared parenting laws say the courts should have flexibility in every case to determine what is in the child's best interests.

In most cases, it is best for the parents to reach an agreement on a child custody that works for the entire family. By considering what type of living environment will best serve the child's interests over the long term, the parents often can achieve a cooperative and workable arrangement. A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing parent negotiate such an agreement.

Source: USA Today , "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome", Jonathon Ellis , January 27, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information