February 21, 2019
While it’s not surprising that most children of divorce say they want to spend quality time with both parents, studies show that the majority of parents want an equitable custody arrangement, too.
In spite of this, just one state in the nation, Kentucky, has a true shared parenting law in place, and that took effect less than a year ago. Family court practices vary from state to state, and too many remain bound to outdated policy and rote resolutions. After all the filings and legal finagling, fit and able Dads often get every other weekend and as little as one day a week while many moms handle the lion share of child rearing responsibilities while often juggling careers while struggling to maintain life balance.
Today, the stereotype of Dad as the sole bread-winner and Mom as the nesting nurturer couldn’t be further from reality.
Given that mothers are the default parent in most custody battles nationwide, the burden of single, or near-single parenting weighs heavy, giving little alone time, bearing the load of homework help, preparing meals and more. It’s easy to think – appropriately – that the father loses out on helping to raise the child/ren, but it’s important to look at the penalty moms often pay for getting such a disproportionate amount of parenting responsibility.
What does this mean? Our nation’s family courts and judges should put both fit and able Moms and Dads on equal footing during the divorce process, and then adjust by agreement as needed to a comfort level that suits both parties – and most of all, the child.
The National Parents Organization is about best-case scenarios for children and parents following separation and divorce, and a true and equal division of labor and love – both the giving and receiving of each. State lawmakers should resolve to help all parties realize that, and revise their unfair custodial precedents and parameters accordingly. Fairness for all parties gives children of divorce their best odds, and makes shared parenting more meaningful and manageable. And that’s a Win-Win-Win.
NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission. All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.