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Shared parenting now viewed as ideal child custody plan

Shared parenting is often promoted today as the ideal living arrangement in divorce cases in Illinois and elsewhere around the country involving children. While it seems to be the favored child custody scenario now, it has not always been viewed as such. A psychologist who has long studied children and divorce has offered insights on how shared parenting is viewed by professionals.

In the past, custody was usually awarded to the mother, with the father seeing the children on weekends and some holidays. Research has shown that the majority of children benefit from spending time with each parent. However, over the past 40 years, arguments against shared parenting have come in cycles.

Experts at one time believed that children do need to spend more time with the parent with whom they have the primary attachment. They believed if this time was shortened, children may experience developmental delays. Another theory was that children could not form true attachments while moving between two separate places. Still others contended that shared parenting between ex-spouses cannot be harmonious since there is already conflict between them.

Although many arguments have arisen throughout the years against shared parenting, the current thinking supports that it is best for the children in a divorce. Certainly, if abuse or neglect is suspected, a shared custody arrangement would not be appropriate. However, for most situations, judges are now often using the shared custody scenario as a starting point in the discussions.

Child custody is just one of the many topics to be addressed when a couple goes through a divorce. It is imperative to have the guidance of a knowledgeable Illinois divorce lawyer throughout the process. An experienced attorney will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome in a client's divorce proceedings.

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