Jane-Ashley McMillan, Attorney at Law

Is custody after divorce shifting to a 50/50 model?

If you are going through a divorce, one of the biggest worries you may have is how much time you will get to spend with your kids once the divorce is finalized. Many dads go into a divorce believing that there is a biased toward the mom receiving more time in the custody agreement.  

If there is or isn’t a bias in place regarding how custody is determined, statisticsdo show that after a divorce, children do spend more time with mom than they do with dad. Broken down nationally, a father will receive an average of about 35 percent of the time with a child. Tennessee dads receive the least amount of custody with their children, receiving an average of only around 21 percent of the time

Twenty out of the 50 states begin with a custody model that aims for a 50 percent shared custody time. Custody times can change based on things like where a parent lives or other extenuating circumstances such as a history of domestic abuse. When it comes to Texas, fathers are with their children an average of 33 percent of the time.

Will custody become equal in the future?

In 2017, there were 25 states with legislation that considered shared parenting. Shared parenting is the presumption that children do best when both parents are in their life to raise them. The introduction to this type of legislation may be a precursor that shifts the idea that children should primarily live in one household with the best parent. Shared parenting will give the opportunity to establish the continued and frequent contact with each parent after a divorce.

Benefits of co-parenting

There has been substantial research on the benefits of children having the presence of both parents in their lives. The benefits include increased security and stability for the child, fewer conflicts, better communication and less stress for the children.

If you do not have a clear understanding of the custody laws in Texas, you should speak to a family law divorce attorney right away. Knowing your rights as well as the rights of your children can be a good first step in making custody decisions that will be in everyone’s best interest.

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