Lawmakers encourage shared parenting with new child custody bills

The every-other-weekend dad may be a thing of the past as lawmakers work to speed up a new trend toward co-parenting. Over 20 states are considering bills that would encourage shared parenting even when parents cannot agree. In Georgia and other states, new shared-parenting bills could be a game changer for child custody battles.

Several states have already considered laws making equal parenting and joint physical custody the standard in child custody agreements. Many agree that equal parenting time should be the initial starting point for custody decisions. The legal push for new arrangements comes from the lobbying of fathers' rights advocates who feel discriminated against when it comes to parenting their children.

Fathers contend that family courts are out of step with families and that the current system only deprives children the chance to build strong and healthy relationships with their dads. Custody rulings have changed to include the best interest of the child, overturning previous rules disallowing joint custody. Despite changes in laws, courts continue to show favoritism by awarding primary physical custody to mothers.

Some states support creating parenting plans and are promoting mediation instead of litigation. Studies have shown that this process leads to a fair division of quality parenting time, and experts recommend these alternative resolution strategies. Parents in Georgia, and any other state, who are entangled in child custody cases may benefit from the guidance of an attorney. A lawyer with expert knowledge of child custody cases can be a valuable resource during this difficult time.

Source: uticaod.com, "Shared-parenting bills could reshape custody battles", Michael Alison Chandler, Dec. 29, 2017

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