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More states, courts have parents who share custody of a child

Even for parents in Virginia who remain in a committed, romantic relationship, coming together to make decisions that are in the best interests of a child is often difficult. The situation often becomes even more complicated when the parents' romantic relationship ends. Despite that shift, parents must continue to make decisions together regarding their children. Though a court may have to sometimes intervene, parents must share custody of a child.

In the past, parents have followed very traditional gender roles. Women were typically responsible for raising children while men were expected to earn money to support their families. Unfortunately, some people argue that the family court system still follows this model despite the changes that happen to society. For example, some statistics indicate that women are awarded primary custody in over 80 percent of cases.

However, more family courts are recognizing the benefits of shared parenting where parents have equal custody time and shared decision-making ability. Some states -- including Kentucky -- are even passing laws requiring such an arrangement, except for in the cases of drug use or abuse. Proponents argue that this arrangement has a positive impact on both the parents and children, with children who have as much contact as possible with both parents being more successful in life.

The aftermath of the end of a relationship can be difficult. However, many parents in Virginia are able to put aside their differences, allowing them to come together to make the decisions that are in the best interests of their children. Often doing so means that parents must share custody of a child. An attorney with experience with family law issues can help a parent seek a custody arrangement that is truly best for his or her children.

Source:, "Shared parenting keeps families together", Matt Hale, May 4, 2018

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