In our last post, we began a discussion about shared parenting arrangements. We noted that in the wake of a romantic split, parents may agree on a co-parenting approach or may choose to mediate or litigate their differences. Sometimes, one parent wishes to foster a healthy co-parenting relationship while the other does not. Sometimes parents simply disagree on the details of such an arrangement. And other times, one parent strongly feels that a co-parenting relationship is not in the best interest of the affected child.
Each child custody dispute must be settled in ways that conform with state law. The National Parents Organization recently released a report which indicates that the majority of states do not have laws or general approaches which tend to favor shared parenting responsibilities. Instead, these states are likely to award primary or sole custody to one parent or the other. The National Parents Organization and other organizations like it argue that in most cases, parents should be awarded a 50-50 split in parenting time.
Certainly, not all situations warrant an even split. Geographical distance, abuse, incarceration and other factors may justify an uneven split in parenting time. However, if both parents are deemed fit and can make a 50-50 parenting time split work, shouldn’t the courts explore the possibility that such an arrangement might be in the best interests of the affected child?
If you have questions about how your state tends to resolve parenting time disputes, please speak with a local attorney. An experienced attorney should be able to guide you through the particulars of your unique situation.
Source: USA Today, “Report: States fail on shared parenting laws,” Jonathan Ellis, Nov. 13, 2014