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Is shared parenting right for your child custody agreement?

Having to deal with custody issues during a divorce is something that many people dread. For some people, learning that a child is going to spend very little time with them is depressing. A new parenting model called shared parenting might be something that parents facing child custody hearings should consider.

In shared parenting, both parents get to equally parent the child. Neither parent is awarded custody. Advocates for this child custody model say that it serves the best interests of the child. They do say that it isn't necessarily right for situations that involve abuse or substance abuse. According to one poll, shared parenting is a concept that is supported by large majorities of Americans.

One supporter of this type of child custody says that the rights of custodial parents have increased in the last three decades. This, he says, can foster bitterness. With shared parenting, each parent sees the child for equal amounts of time, so that bitterness might be lessened.

Opponents of shared parenting think it is best for the court to have flexibility when determining child custody arrangements. Some also claim that shared parenting could lead to conflict because of parents trying to make sure that exactly equal amounts of time are spent with each parent.

If you are going through a divorce that involves a child, the child custody agreement is probably one of the issues that concerns you the most. Seeking the advice of a Virginia professional with experience in child custody might help you to understand the types of custody so you can petition the court with the option you feel is the best one for your child.

Source:  USA Today, "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome" Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 27, 2014

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