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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

The benefits of shared parenting

Numerous studies have found that children do better when they have two parents in their lives. Although courts in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. tend to give custody to mothers, this is starting to change across the nation. Missouri and Kentucky have recently introduced shared parenting bills. A similar bill in Florida almost passed before being vetoed at the last moment by the state's governor.

In Massachusetts, 700,000 voters were asked whether or not shared parenting should be the usual outcome assuming that both parents are fit to do so. Of those voters, 86 percent answered yes, and data from Arizona and Maryland has found a similar sentiment. When one parent has sole custody of a child, there can be negative impacts. For instance, data shows that 71 percent of high school dropouts were raised by a single parent.

Furthermore, 85 percent of those who are imprisoned were raised by just one parent. When parents are seen as equals, it can lead to fewer disputes and lower costs to settle any issues that may arise. Shared parenting may also lead to more peace in the home, which is good for both parents and children.

In many cases, both parents are allowed to be in a child's life if each is capable of doing so. This may be true regardless of how the parents feel. Typically, the best interests of the children are upheld when they have a relationship with both mom and dad. Parents who wish to seek custody of a child or other rights may benefit by talking with an attorney.

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