On behalf of The Law Offices of Mary Ann Beaty, PC posted in Fathers’ Rights on Friday, February 3, 2017.

Divorce rates spike in January in Texas and throughout the country. As a result, numerous decisions are made on the type of child custody and visitation schedules that are in the best interest of the child. However, these decisions have generally failed to account for the advantages of shared parenting.

Courts generally award sole or primary custody to mothers in 75 percent of cases while fathers are awarded custody in only 15 percent of cases, according to a study conducted for the state of Nebraska. Fathers without custody are successful with visitation only 16 percent of the time.

But, single parenting has been harmful and has compounded the trauma suffered by children in divorce. The federal government found that children of single parents accounted for 63 percent of suicides by teenagers, 70 percent of juveniles residing in state-run institutions, 75 percent of youths in chemical-abuse centers, 85 percent of those incarcerated, 85 percent of children showing behavioral disorders and 90 percent of runaway and homeless children. Taxpayers often bore expenses related to these problems.

In an authoritative 2014 study, Dr. Richard Warshak found that the best outcomes for children follow equal or close to equal parenting time. Over 100 scientists endorsed this report globally who work in fields involving this issue.

Through co-parenting, both parents remain involved in their children’s lives and play a role in important decisions. It helps prevent many of these problems associated with single parenting and provides more financial resources for their care. Shared parenting also provides more opportunities to single parents who are seeking full or part-time jobs.

Nonetheless, divorce has been encouraged by laws and family court rulings. Ordering sole or primary custody instead of shared parenting usually makes the divorce a matter of winners and losers. Mothers are also encouraged to file for divorce because they believe they will successfully obtain custody. In fact, mothers initiate 70 percent of all divorces.

An attorney can help husbands assert their fathers’ rights and seek a decree that protects the health and welfare of their children. Even in the absence of Texas laws, a lawyer can help a spouse play a role in the children’s lives.

Source: San Antonio Express-News, “Co-parenting, post-divorce, eases many ills,” Robert Franklin, Jan. 30, 2017