The idea of what is best for children of divorced parents has been changing. In the not-too-distant past, many family law judges believed that awarding mothers primary custody was the best thing for everyone involved. While some people in Alabama might still hold on to this belief, many now realize that children and parents both benefit from joint custody arrangements.
Sole custody can be stressful
The traditional approach to child custody involves mothers having primary custody during the week, with fathers having visitation on the weekends and paying child support. The thought behind this as the ideal arrangement is that mothers would prove a sense of stability in a primary home. In reality, it heaps a disproportionate amount of child rearing responsibility onto women.
According to a Sept. 2020 survey, time sharing arrangements have a profound impact on women’s well-being and income after divorce. Women with joint custody who share parenting time 50-50 are more than 50% as likely to earn $100,000 or more annually when compared with women who are in charge or parenting time the majority of the time. Equal parenting time was also found to be associated with:
- Overall happiness
- Time to invest in one’s career
- Decreased anger
- Better co-parenting relationships
Dozens of studies also back up the idea that kids benefit from joint custody, as a lack of active involvement by fathers is associated with negative outcomes for children. Parents who already understand that divorce is just as much an emotional process as it is a legal one might be particularly interested in learning more about their options for joint custody. Speaking with an attorney who is well-versed in Alabama family law is just one such way of doing so.