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Is Shared Custody Right For Your Child?

For Louisiana children who are accustomed to having both parents in the same house, learning those parents are getting divorced likely raises a lot of fears. One of those fears is usually which parent the child will live with. Shared parenting, a child custody model that a growing number of lawmakers are considering, enables the child to spend equal amounts of time with both parents.

Opponents of the shared parenting model for child custody say that the court needs to retain flexibility to determine what type of custody is in the child’s best interest. Supporters agree with this to some extent. The supporters of the model don’t think shared parenting is appropriate for situations involving abuse or substance abuse.

One supporter of shared parenting says that some child custody orders invite bitterness. An opponent says that shared parenting might lead to conflict if each parent is trying to use a “stopwatch” to ensure time with the child was equal. The arguments make it clear that there isn’t likely going to be a single child custody model that is appropriate for every divorce.

Several states are considering shared parenting laws, such as Connecticut and Maryland. Some have formed various committees to study the parenting model, while Arkansas has already passed a law that now calls for judges to award “approximate and reasonable equal division of time” to parents. Judges will still have the option of other custody arrangements when it is in the best interests of the child.

If you are facing a divorce that involves a child, understand the types of custody arrangements can help you to determine which might be appropriate for your child. Speaking to a Louisiana divorce attorney might help you to learn about the various child custody models that are available.

Source: USA Today, “Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome” Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 27, 2014

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