The shift toward shared child custody

The month of June includes a day entirely devoted to honoring the contributions of fathers in the lives of their children. For some, it is also a time to consider perceived unfairness by the family law court system in regard to child custody and men. Many advocates are pushing for shared custody to become more prevalent in Georgia and across the country.

Some statistics seem to indicate that women are favored in child support rulings, potentially relegating a father to the role of a visitor in his child's life in approximately 80 percent of cases. This trend is supported by Census data which shows that women are the custodial parents in 83 percent of cases. In fact, a recent study conducted by the National Parents Organization ranked states by their child support statutes; no state received the highest rating of "A," while majority of states were rated "C" or lower.

Many advocates are calling for a change. In fact, several states have discussed legislation that would support shared parenting. Many studies also seem to support such an arrangement. For example, one study looked at the effect that moving between parents in a shared custody arrangement versus living with only one parent had on children's mental health. Results supported the claim that children who spend time with two parents have less stress.

For some parents in Georgia, putting aside differences may be difficult in order for parents to peacefully co-parent. However, by doing so, parents can often create child custody arrangements that are in the best interest of their children. In fact, having another adult who loves and cares for a child may also be beneficial to both parents as well.

Source: parentherald.com, "Father's Day 2015: Shared Parenting Gaining Support, Equal-Time Child Custody the New Post-Divorce Arrangement", June 19, 2015

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