In Maryland and across the nation, there is currently a movement to allow for equal rights for fathers regarding time with their children. Traditionally, child custody decisions have favored the mother unless there was undeniable proof of abuse. New legislation is working toward creating custody agreements that give equal time to both parents after they separate or divorce.

Previously, the mothers were given full custody of the children, which effectively made fathers merely visitors of their own children. This was true for more than 80 percent of the cases in the nation. In Nebraska between 2002 and 2012, 72 percent of the child custody cases only allowed the fathers to see their children five times in a month. This trend applied to most of the nation.

So far this year, 20 states have supported passing a parenting bill to equally share the children’s time between the parents. Studies completed in recent years clearly show that children who equally share time with both parents are healthier after a separation or a divorce. This is true for both the physical health and the mental health of the children.

While this movement is working hard to create a situation where equal parenting time is the normal outcome rather than the exception, states are slowly moving toward legislation that could make it happen. For parents who are considering a separation or a divorce, this new legislation could mean that parents will work together to create a joint custody situation where the parents share time equally with their children. Maryland attorneys can help parents who are considering a separation or a divorce work with each other in a child custody case to create an arrangement that is best for their children. 

Source: parentherald.com, “Father’s Day 2015: Shared Parenting Gaining Support, Equal-Time Child Custody the New Post-Divorce Arrangement“, June 19, 2015