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Why you should fight for shared parenting during divorce

When joint parenting is not agreed to in a divorce, the parent who is left with just visitation rights will often fight for more parenting time. Because having less time with a child is not always best for a child, parents will often fight for shared custody. Such an arrangement can be extremely beneficial. However, this requires either parents to agree to such an arrangement or a judge to award such an order. Unfortunately, many fathers are faced with the fight to obtain shared parenting. This is not only fueled by their parental rights, but also for the best interests of the child.

More than 50 studies prove that children in a shared parenting arrangement post-divorce lead better lives than those living in the sole custody of one parent. Even though jurisdictions across the nation seek to uphold legal equality for mothers and fathers in custody battles, data from the U.S. Census indicate that family courts still favor mothers 80 percent of the time when it comes to awarding sole custody.

But this should not deter fathers or even mothers in their fight for shared custody. For starters, advocates for shared parenting have been making a dent. In fact, around 25 states have proposed laws that promote shared parenting. Next, scientific evidence proves that shared parenting that involves a flexible arrangement that allows for equal time with both parents is in the best interest of most children post-divorce. Additionally, the general consensus of the public is that shared parenting should be the usual outcome if parents can no longer be together.

It should also be noted that sole custody is more likely to result in devastating impacts on the life of the child. This could include events such as teen suicide, commitments to juvenile institutions, dropping out of high school, chemical abuse, going to prison, exhibiting a behavioral disorder, homelessness or being a runaway. Finally, it is important to recognize that shared parenting has been proven to lead to fewer fights. This also helps to lower the costs of any proceeding or actions needed to resolve these matters.

Source:, "5 Reasons Dads Should Continue Pushing For Shared Parenting," Ned Holstein, June 20, 2017

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