A divorced North Carolina father striving to gain custody of a child or visitation rights could promote the effort by emphasizing the importance of both parents in a child’s life. Traditionally, family courts have given physical custody to mothers in the vast majority of cases according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Attitudes are shifting, however, as over 50 international studies have consistently shown that children have better lives when their parents share custody.

A conference of child development experts presented research conducted over 40 years in over 18 countries that showed that stress levels in children were lower when they had access to both parents. Over 30 experts expressed their view that children’s best interests were best met by long-term arrangements that divided time between the parents in an approximately equal manner.

Another 110 child development professionals reported that shared parenting should be the normal approach for divorced couples even for very young children. The International Council on Shared Parenting considers shared custody a benefit to children’s well-being, and, when it is the default starting point for custody negotiations, the approach lessens disputes and reduces legal costs.

A family court will look at many factors before approving a custody and visitation schedule. An attorney might support the efforts of an individual experiencing difficulty gaining agreement from an ex-partner for shared custody or the right to visit to children. By preparing documentation that illustrates the parent’s ability to provide for children and meet their emotional needs, an attorney might convince a judge to approve a shared custody arrangement.