Status quo of sole custody after divorce shifts to shared parenting

Parenting is very likely the hardest job in the world.  In many ways the most rewarding, but the hours are awful.  Rarely, will you and your partner agree on how to raise the children. Should they go to church and if so what kind? Should they go to a private or public school? Should they play sports or focus on music development? These are just a few of the many questions that parents must navigate when raising their progeny.

Parents going through a divorce may worry that these issues will not be resolved. Parents may be concerned that having two parents with different parenting styles may not provide a beneficial situation for their child's development.

The good news: two involved parents, even with differing styles, are generally better than one.

What type of parenting agreement is most common? These days, it is much more common for parents to agree to a shared parenting arrangement than it was in the past. The status quo has shifted away from previous generations where the mother would get the children and the father would make child support and potential alimony payments.  Kentucky courts are favoring these recent trends and we have had success for our clients obtaining shared parenting.  Gone are the days where the normal arrangment is every other weekend.

Instead, psychologists state that children are generally best off if both parents are actively involved in their upbringing. Although one parent may still be the primary caretaker and may receive child support payments, working to have the other parent present on a regular basis can best serve the children's developmental needs.

A recent article in Time discussed this change, using the current divorce of Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as an example of what not to do. In this case, Ms. Jolie is attempting to do what experts advise against. Instead of attempting to develop a shared parenting plan with her future ex, she is attempting to completely exclude him from their children's lives.

Is shared parenting always the best? No, there are some situations where shared parenting will not work well. Households with abuse or neglect are some examples. However, if both parents are willing and able to rear their children, it is generally in everyone's best interests to do so.

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