Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Shared parenting recommended in child custody decisions

Going through a divorce in Texas or anywhere around the nation can be a trying process, particularly when there are children involved. Decisions about child custody can create a highly emotional atmosphere. While parents want what's best for their children, contentious divorce proceedings may affect the outcome.

An evaluation was conducted by the National Parents Organization that assigned each state a grade for how it encouraged shared parenting. The organization clearly supports the belief that a child benefits from having both parents actively involved in his or her upbringing. On an A through F grading scale, no state received an A rating. On the report card, only eight states received a B. While Texas was among the states receiving a C grade, 25 states received a grade of D or F.

The NPO evaluated four areas when assigning the state grades. First, they address whether or not a state had laws in place that granted permission for shared parenting. Next, they determined whether the laws encouraged that arrangement. The laws were then examined to determine if a preference for shared parenting was expressed. Finally, they reviewed the laws to see if there was a presumption for shared parenting if there was a dispute between the parents.

Many experts are in favor of these types of joint parenting situations since statistics point to negative environmental outcomes when a single parent is involved. There are higher reports of behavioral disorders, suicide, substance abuse, teen pregnancies and incarcerations when a child is raised by a single parent. Since divorce is already creating a disruption of a child's life, it is helpful for parents to work together to create as much stability as possible.

Determining how to handle child custody is only one of the many issues that arise during divorce proceedings. To ensure that every aspect of the divorce is addressed properly, a Texas divorce attorney can be of valuable assistance. An experienced lawyer will work with clients to achieve the most favorable outcome in the divorce process.

Source: sentinelandenterprise.com, "Shared parenting is the way to go", Bonnie Toomey, Jan. 14, 2018

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