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Support for shared custody increases

Parents getting divorced in Florida often struggle with the impact it will have on their children. It can be difficult to think about where you will be living as well as how your parenting will be impacted during and after the divorce.

Parents often struggle with the thought of losing their child custody case or not getting the custody arrangement they had hoped for. Whatever feelings a parent has about their child custody case, it is important for parents to keep the best interests of their children in mind during this time because that is what more family law judges are doing across the country.

More lawmakers in the United States are looking at child custody laws and what changes can be made to current laws to favor shared custody between parents. Advocates of shared parenting arrangements are trying to raise awareness to the advantages of shared parenting agreements because they believe children benefit from spending an equal amount of time with both parents.

Supporters of revising child custody laws to favor shared parenting arrangements say the best interests of the children should be considered, and this often means sharing custody of the kids instead of only allowing one parent to spend a majority of time with the kids. Supporters said that only cases of abuse and other certain behaviors should one parent be awarded child custody.

Supporters of shared parenting laws say there are several reasons changes need to be made to current child custody laws. First, supporters say gender roles have changed and more men are the primary caretakers of children yet they may have a harder time getting custody of their children after divorce.

Another reason is that polls show more Americans support shared custody arrangements despite current laws. A third reason is that custodial parents have more power now than in the past, leaving non-custodial parents out-of-loop and giving them more of reason to support shared custody laws.

Despite support for shared parenting laws, opponents of this movement say that family law judges need to have discretion in child custody cases to make sure the best interests of the children are taken into account.

Parents getting divorced should be aware of current child custody laws and guidelines so they are aware of how their child custody arrangements are decided and what may impact their case.

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

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