On behalf of Janet Boyle of Boyle Feinberg Sharma posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.
When parents get divorced, they may be tempted to engage in a negative and time-consuming child custody battle. However, in most cases, shared parenting is in the best interest of any children that at couple has. Shared parenting occurs when each parent has at least a 33 percent timeshare with their child or children. In some cases, a shared parenting arrangement gives both parents an equal amount of time with their kids.
While shared parenting is generally in a child’s best interest, it may not always be so. For instance, if a parent engages in coercive behavior, has a history of domestic violence or a history of substance abuse, it could put the child in danger. Shared parenting may also not be an option when it presents logistical problems because the parents live too far away from each other.
However, parents rarely are able to get a ruling of sole custody of their children from a judge. Even if a parent is able to obtain sole custody, the other parent may have visitation rights or other means of interacting with the child. Therefore, that parent will still be a part of the child’s life even if he or she has a history of mental illness or other issues that may prevent that parent from having formal custody rights.
During a divorce, child custody may become a contentious issue. However, it may be best to develop a parenting plan that allows both parents to be in the child’s life, as it is generally in his or her best interest. An attorney may be able to help a parent who wishes to have child custody rights or otherwise wishes to preserve a relationship with their child after the divorce has been finalized.