California was one of 23 states that received a grade of D when the National Parents Organization rated how each state's custody laws treated shared parenting in 2014. Only the District of Columbia and seven states were awarded an B grade, and no state earned an A. Child custody laws throughout the United States have been criticized for basing decisions on outdated gender roles and ignoring a growing body of research that highlights the benefits of shared parenting.
The NPO praised California child custody laws for requiring courts to take friendly parent factors into consideration when custody decisions are made, but they criticized them for requiring both parents to agree before joint custody can be considered. California was also graded poorly for not explicitly providing for shared parenting arrangements during temporary orders.