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Law Offices of John A. Guthrie - Family Law Attorney

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Protecting the child-parent relationship in custody decisions

Child custody is typically one of the most contentious areas of a divorce because it involves emotional issues for every single member of the family. While children often have little choice when it comes to custody, the court will always make decisions that consider what is best for them. One of the main concerns for court these days is protecting the child-parent relationship with both parents. 

Despite this, many custody decisions keep children apart from one parent. However, according to U.S. News and World Report, research studies provide evidence that children benefit more when they have the chance to develop a meaningful relationship with both parents. Children also want to have a relationship with both parents. This goes against the approach to child custody that courts used to take and has led many states to reform their systems. 

Shared parenting 

The ideal situation for children is when parents can share custody because it gives the children equal or almost equal time with each parent. There are many different ways to make this type of arrangement, which largely depends on what works for the family. Courts will typically encourage the parents to come to an agreement on arrangements that will work for their schedules. 

The main issue with shared parenting is when parents do not live close to each other. This causes issues for school-aged children. It also makes transportation difficult. In such situations, shared parenting may not work. 

More equal parenting time 

If parents cannot make a shared parenting arrangement work, they should at least attempt to create a parenting plan that will give the children adequate time with each parent. The old-school arrangements where one parent has custody for the majority of the time is not ideal. It is much better if children can spend longer periods of time with each parent so that they can develop and maintain a healthy child-parent relationship. 

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