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Child custody: New law promotes shared parenting

Shared parenting has become a more popular custody arrangement these days when parents in New York decide to separate. In the past, mothers were commonly awarded primary custody of children during proceedings. However, fathers are increasingly taking active roles in the lives of their children, and child custody laws are being amended to give fathers equal time with children. One state has even passed a law requiring shared parenting.

Under the new law, judges must presume equally shared parenting time serves the best interest of the children in child custody hearings. The new legislation is the culmination of a slow shift that has taken place in custody arrangements across America in recent years. Just last year, records indicate that more than 20 states considered legislation that would encourage shared parenting.

A movement of fathers' rights and a standard of gender-neutrality is slowly overwriting old standards that favored maternal custody. Skeptics of the new law have expressed fears this will allow children to be raised by unfit fathers. However, the legislation allows judges to decide against joint or shared custody when it goes against the best interest of the child.

Mothers and fathers both play critical roles in the lives of their children, and studies show that having equal time with both parents can positively impact the well-being of children. This new law may open the door for more states to pass similar legislation and give both parents equal time with children. Parents in New York that have questions or want to learn more about current child custody laws could benefit by consulting a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Source: reason.com, "In Win For Fathers' Rights, Kentucky Says Judges Must Presume Shared Parenting In Child Custody Battles", Elizabeth Nolan Brown, May 17, 2018

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