The movement to get fathers on a level playing field when it comes to child custody is gaining acceptance in more and more places around the country — although there is still work to be done. However, the presumption that joint custody is the best option for divorcing parents is being recognized in several states, and legislation is pending in other states.
It seems difficult to comprehend that there could be an active opposition to joint custody. According to some groups that have voiced concerns, the idea that joint custody is best might put the interests of individual parents ahead of the best interests of the children — which is one of the bedrock principles of child custody.
Another concern that some groups had was that if joint custody was mandated — as in a 50-50 split — it could put a burden on parents if they lived far away from each other and had to spend lots of extra time on travel and logistics. Also, by the time a child custody case gets to court, it is likely acrimonious to begin with. Requiring parents who are on poor terms to see each other frequently, as would be the case for moms and dads in this kind of situation, could make for uncomfortable interactions — which could have negative impacts on the children.
Regardless of the political climate in Missouri for this type of legislation, the process of negotiating the terms of child custody is often a fluid one. Having the best legal representation on your side could make that process a less painful one.
Source: National Public Radio, “Push To Change Custody Laws: What’s Best For Kids?” Jennifer Ludden, Feb. 26, 2014