Whether you’ve been tuned into things or not, there’s currently a heated national debate taking place regarding child custody. The November 2014 election cycle saw states like North Dakota vote on equal parenting time, a cause championed by the “Parental Rights Initiative”.
This controversial measure ultimately failed, by what many would consider a landslide margin – 62% versus 38%. Whereas we could easily look the other way regarding this initiative, it’d be wiser to adopt the opposite position: a radical campaign to alter child custody cases is taking place now.
Child custody is evolving all the time. You don’t need to look back far in history to see that child custody was once indivisible, meaning one parent solely held guardianship of their children. Common belief was that only one parent could raise a child, something the 20th century later revisited.
That a child could not have a proper upbringing with split parenting was a presumption difficult to overcome, but it made one thing abundantly clear – presumptions, as pertaining to divorce, are dangerous. Initiatives like what recently occurred in North Dakota and what was traditionally believed about child custody prior to the 20th century are inherently flawed ideas.
Who does a 50/50 parenting split really stand to benefit? It’s easy to see how parents are being considered before their children in some of these cases. Any legal presumption concerning equal parenting time puts a child’s welfare secondary to the interests of their parents.
So what’s the solution? Writers from the Washington Post believe it lies in crafting a ‘parenting plan’, a blueprint of sorts of how to allocate parental guidance to address a child’s needs post-divorce. These plans essentially mandate that parents work together in the best interest of their children, something far more constructive than arguing over time sharing.