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The growing trend away from sole custody during divorce

58904961_S.jpgParents always want what is best for their children. How can they help it? A child is his or her world, and during a divorce, parents in Illinois and elsewhere will do anything to limit the negative impact the process could have on the child. This requires not only considering the dissolution process itself but also how the post divorce life will look. In some cases, a parent might have so much animosity with their former spouse that they seek to go to great lengths to either protect the child from their ex or file for sole custody. Whether this is out of care or spite, it is often a custody arrangement that is difficult at achieving.

Absent any physical abuse, drug addictions or mental health issues, it is difficult to successfully pursue an action for primary custody of a child. Sole custody could be granted if there exist factors that prove a child is safer and better off with one parent; however, if such factors do not exist, experts agree that children are much happier and healthier when a relationship is maintained and built with both parents post-divorce.

Although the common belief for several decades has been that a mother should be the primary caretaker and the father could enjoy visitation benefits, this status quo has long since changed. Both parents are likely to be actively involved in child rearing during a marriage; thus, both parents are provided the privilege to equally raise the child or children during and after the divorce process.

While it is clear that some parents are better at raising a child when the child is of a certain age, the reason why shared parenting is an ideal situation is the fact that two heads are better than one. Fathers are likely to be involved with the more physical play, helping the child learn how to handle their bodies, how to play fair with others and how to deal with their emotions associated with play.

On the other hand, mothers take the role of reasoning and socializing their child. This allows the child to understand how their actions affect others. Whether a parent takes on these traditional gender roles, it still remains true that living with each parent 35 percent of the time after divorce reduces the chances of depression, health problems and stress-related illnesses, which are often present with children that live with just one parent.

Source: Time, "The Growing Case for Shared Parenting After Divorce," Belinda Luscombe, Sept. 29, 2016

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