One thing I have learned thru the court system is that timesharing generally takes a backseat. Every conference with my lawyers or when discussing issues in the judge’s chambers ends up about being a monetary issue for my ex-wife.
The issue I have is that unless there is a mental or physical issue that keeps a person from working, then the kids should be the focus. The access to the parents, ability to participate in activities and interactions they had before a separation occurred should be the same after a filing.
Florida starts out the proceeding with spousal support to the under-earning spouse rather than focusing on the support for the kids. This is where the court system is still falling behind. They talk a good game about mediation, taking a parenting class and working together but the money issue is front and center. If you remove that, place the kids needs first, all that falls to the wayside.
38 states so far have passed laws making shared parenting (50/50) standard. There’s ambiguous laws in other states but these 38 states define it as exclusively as 50/50 unless there’s abuse, neglect, incest or criminal convictions. If there’s a disparity between incomes, negotiate costs for upbringing the kids and the issue is settled.
The problem is that there’s a 25-40 year old way of thinking about mostly females and their support needs. Depending on the industry, there’s around 51-53% overall female employment compared to male. Certain industries it’s higher male and others its drastically female. Employment isn’t an issue. If you then look at average wage based on US Census Bureau numbers, the median income nationwide is $61,000 per year. This number will vary by state and metropolitan area but this is an average a lot of states use. From there, then support could be discussed.
However with the archaic way of thinking and the drive of the feminist movement, absolute parity has to be forced. A forced outcome compared to allowing opportunities. While this happens, the kids are on the side waiting for things to settle. This is what keeps divorces with high-conflict individuals going for so long.
Now for the studies. As I stated, states are stuck in the past but some are catching up. Studies show that kids benefit greatly from the shared parental resources. It also mitigates a lot of issues.
Some interesting findings can be found online with a quick search but I’ve gathered some here:
So in all the studies, regardless of conflict levels, children benefit better with joint custody scenarios with the parents rather than one parent being the primary. Study after study after study shows that what lawyers, judges and most mothers think is best for the kids is WRONG! Kids benefit from both parents in their lives.
Here’s another link of some material that links to additional information and studies: https://www.divorcemag.com/blog/benefits-of-shared-custody/
This is where the change needs to come. Focus on the kids, their development and best outcome and the rest of the issues are minimized. Give one parent the leverage of the kids, the rest is setup to be a constant and litigious battle.
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