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Advocates argue for shared child custody in most divorces

When Colorado parents make the decision to divorce, they must come to an agreement on how they parent their children together. Some people, for varied reasons, make the decision to sue for sole custody of their children. There are advocates who argue that this should not happen in most cases. They say that child custody is best when it is shared between the two former partners.

To be clear, these advocates do not apply their position to those spouses who are in an abusive situation or if one spouse misuses drugs or alcohol. They simply say that, overall, children fare better when they are raised equally by both parents as much as possible, no matter what grievances may be present between the two of them. Lawmakers are beginning to pay attention to these advocates and are taking steps to look at current laws around child custody.

Advocates argue that changing gender roles have necessitated sharing custody between parents as more men are stepping up to care for their children. Overall, public support for the prospect is high. Also, many people feel that, in the past, family courts have favored parents who have primary custody and not been as supportive of non-custodial parents. Many people disagree with mandating joint custody, saying it will be too rigid and stressful on the entire family, though they often agree that, if it is possible, sharing custody is ideal.

Whatever decision is reached by the parents going through a divorce, the priority should be on keeping the children as happy as possible and having their best interests placed first. In Colorado, those who have questions about their child custody agreement may find it beneficial to discuss their arrangements with a family court. Divorce is a difficult process no matter the circumstances, but there are ways for everyone to move forward.

Source: USA Today, Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome, Johnathon Ellis, Jan. 27, 2014

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