Child custody laws have been in place for decades with very little change. Many states are currently looking at reforming these laws to help them better reflect today’s family dynamics.
U.S. News and World Report explains the uniform law that most states adhere to focuses on keeping children in the family home with little disruption to their lives. In most cases, this means giving main custody to the mother with the father having visitation. This no longer represents what professionals say is best for a child. They say the better goal is to ensure children can build meaningful relationships with both parents actively involved in their lives.
Reform that is occurring now focuses on maximizing the time your children have with both parents. So, instead of one of you getting the majority custody, it would be more even. States are now using terms such as parenting time to do away with terms that hold the old connotations.
The focus is more on sharing parental responsibilities and giving children a chance to develop a relationship with both of you. The bottom line remains what is best for the children, but that has changed.
Many states that are reforming their child custody laws set ratios for parenting time. A common idea is that no parent should have less than one-third of the time with the children. So, while it may not be even, you and the other parent will each get adequate time to spend with your kids.
The new laws give the court fewer chances to use its discretion by spelling out details and exact rules. This can help eliminate bias that a judge may have, such as children should be with their mothers over their fathers.