On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
As most divorce attorneys will say, few legal matters are more emotionally fraught than child custody battles. No loving parent can bear the thought of losing access to a child. That fear is often what drives parents to fight to the bitter end to retain as much time with their kids as possible. According to research, however, there may be a better way for Florida parents to approach this critical family law need. Shared custody is an option that should be considered by virtually all Florida families as they explore their child custody possibilities.
Shared custody is a structure under which both parents remain closely connected to their child or children. Many parents assume that shared custody means an equal 50/50 division of parenting time and responsibilities. In reality, however, very few families are able to accommodate or incorporate a true 50/50 division of parental duties. A more reasonable approach is simply to promote a healthy amount of time spent with both parents, even if that amount is not an exact 50 percent figure.
Research suggests that children who spend at least 35 percent of time with each parent have stronger bonds with both their mothers and fathers. They are also less likely to engage in risky behaviors, including drinking, smoking and using drugs. Studies also suggest that they are better protected against depression, anxiety and other stress-related disorders.
For Florida parents who are looking for a family law approach that is in the best interests of their children, shared child custody is an option worth considering. In many cases, focusing on the research is a great way for parents to reduce some of the emotional tension attached to a child custody case and instead look for the best possible outcome for their child or children. While shared custody is not an option for every Florida family, it is a path that deserves careful consideration.
statnews.com, “After divorce, shared parenting is best for children’s health, development“, Richard A. Warshak, May 26, 2017