Sometimes relationships come to an end. However, when married parents in New York and elsewhere decide to call it quits, this does not mean they are calling it quits on their relationship with their child. Although spouses no longer what to live together or have a relationship with one another, this should not alter or strain the relationship that a mother or father has with their child. During the divorce process, however, parents must determine what parenting will look like post-divorce.

While parenting time will not mimic what it looked like during marriage, it does not mean the relationship cannot be the same or grow between a parent and a child. Although the trend over the past several decades has been to give primary custody to the mother and visitation rights to the father, the recent years have shown a new trend.

Divorcing parents have not only begun to use collaboration throughout the divorce process, but also when developing and maintaining a child custody and visitation plan. Co-parenting is now frequently utilized and is the current trend among divorce parents. Because of that, legislatures in more than 20 states have considered specific bills that would encourage shared parenting. These laws might even make co-parenting the legal presumption when parents disagree on custody.

One of the reason there is a push for co-parenting arrangements is for fathers’ rights. Some fathers have felt alienated from their children and over burdened by support obligations. Thus, these fathers advocated for their rights to spend more time with their children and obtain gender equality with this divorce issue.

Although there has been a movement towards co-parenting, this does not always mean this is the best fit. Thus, parents going through the divorce process need to consider their needs as well as the best interests of the child when deciding on a child custody arrangement.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Dads push for shared parenting, states consider new laws after decades of favoring moms,” Michael Alison Chandler, Dec. 12, 2017