Is shared parenting the way to go?

When it comes to child custody and parenting, many non-custodial parents tend to get frustrated with the amount of time they are given with their children after their divorce is finalized. Florida parents may find it interesting to learn that recently, many states have started to look at their child custody laws after advocates for shared-parenting laws have argued that such an arrangement is in the best interest of the children.

Advocates for shared-parenting indicate that it is better for children to have equal time with both parents. Except in cases of some kind of neglect, physical abuse or substance abuse, the advocates argue that the parents should share custody. The impetus for change in child custody arrangement came about after non-custodial parents voiced their frustration about the custodial parent having a lot more power in decisions regarding the child. In one case, a divorced father of three who lives only 15 miles from his children stated he only gets to see them four times a month during certain times of the year.

Generally, where one parent has been granted physical custody of a child, a judge formulates a typical visitation or parenting time schedule for the other parent. Opponents of the shared-parenting model have argued that judges need flexibility in drafting a custody arrangement which is in the best interest of a child, and the best interests of the child trump the interests of the parent who files the paperwork.

Last year in Florida an alimony reform and shared parenting bill passed, but unfortunately was vetoed by the Governor. Child custody and parenting time issues can be frustrating for parents and children alike. Any parent interested in exploring legal options which might increase their parenting time with their children and enhance their interaction with their child may want to contact an experienced family law attorney for more information.

Source: Florida Today, "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome," Jan. 28, 2014

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