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Why joint-custody arrangements are increasing in America

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Child Custody |

In recent years, joint custody arrangements have increased in popularity across America. This shift in family dynamics reflects changing societal attitudes towards parenting and divorce.

Understanding the factors driving this trend can shed light on why more parents are opting for joint custody.

Changing views on parenting roles

A key reason for the rise in joint custody is the evolving perception of parenting roles. Traditionally, mothers often received primary custody of children after divorce. Fathers, meanwhile, had limited visitation rights. However, societal norms have shifted to recognize the importance of both parents in a child’s upbringing.

Focus on co-parenting and collaboration

Another factor contributing to the increase in joint custody is the growing emphasis on co-parenting and collaboration between divorced parents. Research has shown that children benefit from having strong relationships with both parents. This is typically true even if they no longer live together. Joint custody arrangements promote cooperation and communication between parents. This, in turn, helps foster a supportive environment for children to thrive.

Recognition of children’s best interests

Courts increasingly prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. This includes considering the child’s emotional well-being, stability and relationship with each parent.

Financial considerations

Financial considerations also play a role in the rise of joint custody. Shared custody arrangements can alleviate the financial burden on one parent, as both parents contribute to the child’s upbringing. Joint custody may result in a more equitable division of expenses related to raising children, such as childcare, education and health care costs.

The Atlantic reports that joint custody arrangements increased from 13% before 1985 to 34% in the early 2010s. As more parents prioritize maintaining strong relationships with their children post-divorce, joint custody has emerged as a preferred custody arrangement.