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Few things can be more devastating to a child than their parents divorcing. Lives can be changed in an instant, and they may feel betrayed by one or both parents’ decisions. Some may have feelings of abandonment by the non-custodial parent. In California and many other states, dads are pushing hard for shared parenting during child custody arrangements.

For many years, American culture often leaned toward the mom as the primary caregiver and dad as the every-other-weekend guy. Recently, couples have agreed to shared parenting or to continue parenting the same way they did when married. Some dads feel they are being short-changed in visitation and are being deprived of the chance to build and shape relationships with their children. Research shows that children excel in school and have higher self-esteem when they have a father who is involved in their lives.

Shared parenting would take the place of current visitation schedules and replace it with a more kid-friendly version that allows both parents more quality time. Despite legal changes, judges may continue to be biased by awarding physical custody to the mother. Experts agree that children will benefit from having two involved parents, but they insist that the existing “best interest of the child” standards still make sense. 

Some believe that laws are based on the belief that mothers are better at raising children than fathers, but recent research does not support that. Everyone agrees that it is about the quality of parenting, not the parenting time. In California, it may be in one’s best interest to seek guidance from an experienced child custody attorney. A lawyer with a sound history can use his or her knowledge and guidance to achieve a positive outcome for everyone.

Source: chicagotribune.com, “Dads push for shared parenting, states consider new laws after decades of favoring moms”, Michael Alison Chandler, Dec. 12, 2017