You may have heard that modern courts are more likely to give out shared custody than joint custody. It is true that there’s been a shift over the decades. Shared custody is often preferential to joint custody, ensuring that the child sees both parents.
Just knowing that this is the norm is one thing, but you may find yourself wondering what spurred the change. There used to be a presumption that mothers should get custody because they would be better parents, while the fathers simply had to visit and pay child support. What changed this way of thinking?
It’s better for the children to see both parents
The biggest reason for the change is simply that research found that children who were still involved with both of their parents were able to adjust better to the divorce. They show better academic scores, for instance, and seem to do better in terms of social development. There is also some evidence that they are more likely to make wise decisions and avoid criminal activity.
It is certainly true that there were also fathers who wanted to make sure that they had more time with their children. And this did play into the change, but the big reason wasn’t simply adhering to what the fathers would want. The change in the courts came from the fact that the court wants to do the best thing for the child, and studies show that this would produce the best results.
If you’re going through a divorce and you want to make sure that you have enough time with your child, make sure you know about all the legal options at your disposal.