Surveys and polls show strong support for joint custody arrangements

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Child custody arrangements can be one of the most passionately debated aspects of a divorce settlement. The final agreement will define how much time each parent will spend with their children and may dictate the future trajectory of their parent-child relationship. Clearly the stakes in child custody cases are quite high and it is in the collective interest of both former spouses to create a functional, practical agreement that suits their unique family.

When forming a child custody arrangement, a family law judge is charged with making decisions that protect the children’s best interests. Yet, according to the researchers at Arizona State University, a large portion of the American public strongly believes that child custody arrangements often do not accomplish this goal.

Polls and surveys indicate that many people feel children thrive best when they spend time with both their parents on a regular basis, yet also believe that most child custody arrangements do not reflect this sentiment. Public opinion research revealed that many responders-men and women alike-think that a father’s time with his children is generally undervalued by most judges compared with the amount of time awarded to the children’s mother.

While unbalanced custody arrangements are difficult for parents, researchers found that most Americans believe they are actually hardest on the children. Overwhelmingly, survey and poll participants stated a strong preference for equally shared parenting time, thereby allowing children to maintain a healthy relationship with both their parents.

Do you think joint custody arrangements generally better represent a child’s best interests? Do you feel as though you’ve suffered from a bias child custody decision during your own divorce case?

Source: PsychCentral.com, “Public support rising for joint custody.”Rick Nauert, 3 May 2011