In Michigan and beyond, divorcing parents must solve difficult questions about who has custody of the children - not just where the kids live, but how often they switch locations, who makes important decisions about their health and well-being, and what to do during important holidays.
According to two recent studies, at least, one aspect of child custody could be much simpler. The participants in the studies, which appear in the May issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, have a lot to say about which parent should get custody of the children after divorce.
The answer? Parents should have equal custody.
The authors of the studies presented the participants with hypothetical situations involving a mother and a father who both wanted custody of their children. A large portion of the participants consistently chose for the mother and the father to split custody 50-50.
Overturning Long-Held Stereotypes Can Change Child Custody
Stereotypes about gender roles, which have propelled perceptions of what makes a proper custody decision, are changing. It is apparent that the public no longer automatically pictures the children living with their mother, and only seeing their father occasionally.
Although the change in perception may not have reached all corners of the world, and perhaps not even every judge's chambers, it appears to be widespread. At its roots may be the way the working world has changed. Women have entered the workforce in record numbers, and fathers are taking more time to be involved in their children's lives. Both genders benefit from the chance to pursue fuller professional and social lives.
Speak With a Lawyer
If you are facing a child custody dispute, or if you have questions about your child custody options, contact an experienced Michigan family law attorney.
Source: Medical News Today, "Public Favors Equal Custody for Children of Divorce" May 3, 2011.