Scientific research has shown that children in California and throughout the country benefit when they have both parents in their lives. In fact, statistics from groups including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 85 percent of those who are in prison were raised by single parents. Children brought up by only one parent also make up 85 percent of children who have behavioral disorders as well as 71 percent of high school dropouts.
While it is still statistically more likely that a mother will be awarded physical custody of a child by a judge presiding over a divorce, attitudes toward shared parenting are changing. Missouri has passed a bill regarding shared parenting to join states such as Arizona and Alaska. Also, shared parenting has been common in other nations such as Australia and Sweden for many years.
According to the International Council on Shared Parenting, domestic violence is less likely in a shared parenting arrangement. This is because parents are seen as equals, which reduces the odds of a conflict. Furthermore, opting for a shared parenting arrangement may save parents money as opposed to engaging in a custody battle. That money may be better spent on their children, and children may also benefit when parents have a relatively strong relationship with each other.
It is not uncommon for parents to engage in minor squabbles over child rearing after a divorce. In most cases, it may be best to resolve a custody dispute through an open and honest dialogue as opposed to proceeding to litigation. However, if necessary, an attorney may represent a parent in court if informal negotiations fail.