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Lawmakers consider benefits of shared parenting plans

With the role of fathers changing and the growing number of men in North Carolina who are caregivers for their children, there are many who are calling for a reform of child custody arrangements. Although it has historically been the mother who has been awarded custody of the children the majority of the time, this may be changing.

Lawmakers across the country are looking at the benefits of divorced parents who each have equal custody of their children. The National Parents Organization is one group that is for shared parenting. The group’s founder points to three reasons why the idea of shared parenting has come to the forefront recently. He said that the first reason is the fact that gender roles are changing and that more and more men are caring for their children than they have in the past. The second is that a large portion of Americans surveyed said they like the idea of shared custody. Lastly, non-custodial parents feel like they do not have as much power as the custodial parents, leaving some of them feeling bitter.

The group’s founder did say that he realizes that shared parenting is not for everyone, but would like to see laws change so that both parents are regarded equally when it comes to child custody arrangements. He feels that this system could allow parents to feel more equal and avoid feelings of frustration and bitterness.

Other groups agree, but want to ensure that shared parenting is not mandatory, especially in instances of abuse. They want each custody arrangement to be made on a case-by-case basis.

Source: USA Today, “Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome,” Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 27, 2014