When a couple gets a divorce in Oregon or anywhere around the country, there are numerous issues they must address during the process. If the couple has children together, the issue of child custody is paramount in their decision making. The best interests of the child are considered the standard by which courts make custody decisions. However, some family experts contend that some courts need to update their interpretation of that standard.
Traditionally, the decision is made to award sole custody to mothers. Yet, studies frequently show that children raised by one parent are more at risk to drop out of school, become pregnant or experience other problems. Statistical evidence increasingly supports a shared custody arrangement for the children. In these situations, children spend roughly equal time with each parent.
Of course, if abuse is suspected, an arrangement of this type would not be considered. However, researchers state that children are happier and perform better in school when both parents have active roles in their upbringing. Conversely, children raised in single-parent homes account for the majority of children who are homeless, are runaways or are in drug treatment centers.
Experts believe that family laws regarding child custody should better represent how families look today. Many women work outside the home now and should have the freedom to further their careers. Also, more men want active involvement in raising their children. Shared custody creates an environment that affords both ex-spouses to be part of their children's lives while pursuing their goals. Roughly half the states in the country have addressed laws dealing with shared parenting over the past year.
Child custody is one of many issues that must be resolved in an Oregon divorce. An experienced divorce attorney can help some understand the process and determine the best course of action for them. A knowledgeable lawyer will work diligently to help clients achieve the best outcome in the divorce proceedings.
Source: pilotonline.com, "Shared parenting helps children following divorces", Christian and Kristen Paasch, Nov. 19, 2017