A study that was recently published in “Psychology, Public Policy, and Law” shows that many family law judges view child custody cases differently than how the majority of Americans feel about them. Some judges in Georgia assume that mothers should be favored over fathers in custody cases.
Father’s rights advocacy groups have long been proponents of shared custody arrangements. Now, research indicates that parents of both genders feel strongly about children spending equal time with both parents. Study results even favored equal custody time between parents when they were in conflict with one another.
One of the study’s authors says the research showed that the practice of consistently awarding mothers a greater share of custody may signal old-fashioned thinking. Right now, many family courts only agree to split child custody arrangements 50-50 if both parents agree to it in advance.
Study participants, who were asked to make custody decisions as if they were judges, overwhelmingly supported the idea of equal custody times in nearly all court scenarios. Split-custody parenting was supported even in situations where mothers had taken a greater child care responsibility before divorce.
The newly published research sends a challenge to the traditional family court system to reassess the reasons why mothers are almost always automatically given a custody advantage by judges. According to the latest data, equal parent time-sharing is by far the more preferred public solution for the care of children whose parents are separated or divorced.
Source: PsychCentral, “Public Support Rising for Joint Custody,” Nick Nauert, 3 May 2011