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New parenting bill may add a twist to child custody

When couples decide to end their relationship, it often involves children and a parenting agreement. For years, American culture dictated that mothers were naturally awarded primary custody and fathers were the every-other-weekend parents. In California and many other states, new shared-parenting bills could change child custody and visitation agreements.

This new trend of co-parenting will encourage shared-parenting even when parents disagree. The legal push for new custody arrangements results from lobbying by advocates for fathers' rights groups. For years, fathers have felt short-changed in their allotted parenting time and sometimes alienated from their children. Experts claim the current system is depriving children the chance to build relationships with their dads.

Fathers' rights groups continue working to promote joint decision-making and equal parenting time. These small steps might open doors to more joint custody decisions. Children benefit from having two parents actively involved in their lives, and children with active fathers have better academic records and higher self-esteem. Experts claim what matters is the quality of parenting and co-parenting, not the amount of parenting time.

Despite changing laws, courts continue to award primary custody to mothers in many states, but research does not support that mothers are better at raising children than fathers. A new generation of men who are committed to the caregiving of their children wants to redefine those roles. In California and other states, fathers may benefit from the expertise of a child custody attorney. An incisive lawyer can answer questions and help calm concerns about their parenting rights.

Source: uticaod.com, "Shared-parenting bills could reshape custody battles", Michael Alison Chandler, Dec. 31, 2017

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