Joint custody with equal time sharing between two parents is an initial presumption for a child custody order in many states and in the minds of many family law judges. In reality, these kinds of custody plans may end up taking a toll on the children involved. The system is generally handled better in Georgia and some other states where the courts are not saddled with an initial presumption that joint custody and equal sharing is the first preference.
According to the founder of the National Parents Organization, several recent studies by separate, independent experts conclude across the board that children reared by only one parent after a divorce or separation do much more poorly than children who are brought up in a shared or joint custody arrangement. The superiority of a shared child custody setup applies in Georgia as well as elsewhere. It is clear that most children benefit greatly from having the love, guidance, and companionship of each parent on an equal basis. Nonetheless, family courts nationwide overwhelmingly award sole custody in one parent.
Whether in Georgia or another state, the best interests of the children is the critical mantra that governs ultimate outcomes in custody matters. Unfortunately, defining the term with precision is an elusive undertaking. It generally rises and falls on the circumstances of each case. Thus, it can be said that the best interests test in a child custody matter really often boils down to a fact-intensive search to determine which parent has more of the desire, sensitivities, experience and proven child-rearing capabilities to best care for the children under the circumstances.
Throughout the country, including in Georgia, there are groups that are lobbying state legislatures for passage of laws that will make it mandatory for shared custody or joint custody arrangements to be ordered by the courts. In the present system of child custody, joint or shared custody arrangements are possible. The court also has wide discretion in fashioning more traditional arrangements, with one parent as the primary physical and legal guardian, and the other parent as a secondary guardian who more or less is restricted to visitation privileges and to sharing in decision-making responsibilities.
Despite the traditional belief that mothers do better than fathers in child custody matters, the statistics for the nation, including in Georgia, show a dramatic change. Currently, some sources say that both parents are generally equal when it comes to child custody dispositions. According to the consensus of various authors and academics in the field, it appears that the real area of discrimination today in family court is the favoring of those who can afford legal counsel over those who cannot.
Child custody may be a difficult area to agree on for some couples facing a divorce or breakup. Divorces involving children can create a high level stress and difficulty for many parents. Georgia couples may be interested in a recent article that discusses why joint custody may be a good option for many parents.
Georgia readers may have heard accounts of how different individuals left the church after the loss of a loved one or other sort of personal tragedy. However, despite the nearly 50-50 divorce odds for newly married couples, a new study suggests that the effects of divorce may still be as difficult as ever on children.