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Increased attention given to shared parenting benefits

Pennsylvania families dealing with child custody issues after a divorce may realize that it can be challenging to reach an agreement that ideally meets the needs of all parties involved. However, the idea of shared parenting is gaining in popularity as states across the country have introduced legislation to provide for more balanced parenting time. This movement is backed by research that indicates that equal parenting time is one of the most effective strategies for minimizing the negative impact of divorce on children.

Historically, fathers have received minimal parenting time. Some statistical examples include Nebraska, where more than two-thirds of non-custodial fathers see their children on an average of less than six days per month. Census data indicates that only 17 percent of custodial parents throughout the nation are fathers. However, many states have passed or considered legislation that would provide for more equal parenting time.

Some states have increased the number of overnight visits children have with their non-custodial parents. Others have established 50/50 custody as a standard. The goal of such legislation is the best interest of the child based on the fact that a child will typically experience less negative effects from divorce by having both parents involved in their life. As child custody issues are addressed on a legislative level, those who have custody agreements in place might be curious about how these issues would affect their personal situations.

Legal counsel may be important for gaining perspective on changing child custody options in the context of any new legislation. Seeking a change in a custody order may require a legal agreement between parents. If the other parent is unwilling to make adjustments based on a change in circumstances or the law, it might be necessary to take such a matter to court for an official decision.

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