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Why is shared parenting on the rise?

It started as an increase in more generous visitation schedules, but now more and more families have shared parenting, which includes joint legal and physical custody. Some of the arrangements include week-on-week-off parenting time scheduled and cause both parents to be equally responsible for the financial, physical and emotional care of the children.

While shared parenting used to be something most people entered into because the parents felt it was in the best interests of the child, it is increasingly being considered the default by the family courts. This means that a party must prove that the shared parenting is not in the best interests of the children instead of having to prove that it is.

There are many reasons why shared parenting is being considered the default standard in more and more states across the country, and one of the primary ones it that is allows both parents to have contact with the child. This is most beneficial to the party who would have been the noncustodial parent in a sole custody arrangement.

Shared parenting arrangements have also been shown to reduce parental conflict and reduce instances of parental alienation. Because both parents are involved in the day-to-day decision making, it forces them to figure out how to communicate and cooperate with each other as coparents even though they are no longer partners. The more frequent contact with both parents also makes it hard for one party to attempt to sabotage the other's relationship with the children. Those in Texas with questions about existing shared parenting orders or who would like to have shared parenting should talk to an attorney.

Source: Psychology Today, "Conclusions of the Second International Conference on Shared Parenting Posted," Edward Kruk, April 06, 2016

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