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Lutins & Pilgreen, PC - Family, Criminal law
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Virginia steps toward prioritizing co-parenting

When married parents choose to divorce, they have multiple decisions to make, especially regarding the custody and care of their minor children. While there are often negative feelings associated with the other parent when a romantic relationship ends, having no further contact with one another when there are children involved is not an option; maintaining a positive relationship is necessary for co-parenting. In fact, some people in Virginia argue that a shared parenting arrangement is in the best interest of the children.

The chairperson of the National Parents Organization in Virginia claims that the state recently took steps that attempted to modernize child custody laws. However, he claims that these attempts now need additional clarification. Specifically, he argues that shared parenting has a “rebuttable presumption” of parents receiving 50/50 parenting time with adjustments being made based on individual circumstances. Though he claims that the term “rebuttable presumption” should be clear, he indicates that some legal professionals question its clarity.

There are many arguments in favor of a 50/50 shared parenting approach. In fact, some reports indicate that there are multiple studies that conclude children who have maximum contact with both parents following a divorce fare better and that such arrangements do not create an increase of legal conflict . Despite these studies, some argue that a 50/50 split only occurs in approximately 20 percent of cases.

Parents and courts are often tasked with making a determination regarding the best interest of a child. Some argue that the traditional arrangement of one parent only having visitation every other weekend does not meet this standard. Though the difficulties of co-parenting following a divorce are understandable, Virginia parents who can work together in a shared custody arrangement may be able to help children ease through a potentially challenging transition for their children.

J. Emmette Pilgreen IV
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