Child custody can be a difficult challenge for divorcing parents in North Carolina. Some of the difficulties can be attributed to the current U.S. family court system, which often tends to default to giving the mother sole or primary physical custody.
Family courts still give custody to the mother in over 80 percent of the child custody cases they oversee. This percentage drops dramatically when fathers proactively petition for custody. However, this default assumption can help keep women in poverty, men separated from their children and kids deprived of a close relationship with both of their parents.
One alternative, popular around the world yet still lagging behind in the United States, is shared parenting. This flexible model aims at providing equal time and decision-making authority for both parent. Rather than being an anomaly, shared parenting as a default can help re-center child custody disputes toward the best interests of the children, including their relationships with both parents. By supporting equal time and involvement with both parents, shared parenting can lead to improved psychological and physical health outcomes for children. This type of arrangement can foster not only greater physical closeness but also deeper emotional relationships with both parents. Furthermore, both parents have more time and opportunities to develop their careers as well as their long-lasting, loving and supportive relationships with their children. It can also lead to stronger co-parenting relationships.
When a parent is seeking a divorce, consulting an can be important to protect the best interests of the child or children of the marriage. Whether a split is amicable or contentious, a family law attorney can help to provide important representation and guidance in these types of matters.