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Shared Parenting Time Becoming More Common

Posted on in Child Custody

shared parenting time, DuPage County parenting time attorneysGoing through a divorce can be incredibly difficult for all parties involved. However, a divorce takes a special toll on the children of a failing marriage. Custody battles can get nasty, but in the end the judge is supposed to make decisions that are the best interest of the children. More and more frequently, judges are finding that shared parenting time is what is best for the children involved.

Previous Trend

In the past, split custody between parents was common. Children would live with one parent while the noncustodial parent would have “visitation” and spend a much smaller amount of time with the children. Experts and judges believed that it was better for the children to have a stable home and see the noncustodial parent occasionally. Yet this would often turn into a situation that was colloquially called “Disney Dad”—when the noncustodial parent had a relationship with his children that centered on fun activities instead of a typical parent/child relationship that included both fun times and serious times, stressful times, and other aspects of everyday life. Now, courts and experts are moving in a different direction.

What is Shared Parenting Time?

Time magazine recently reported on this trend and states that there are “reams” of data to support that shared parenting time is better for children, and that children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent score better on important outcomes. Of course, this is assuming that both parents are fit for this role.

Shared parenting time means that children spend a good amount of time with each parent. Instead of one primary parent and one “visitation parent,” both parents are seen as important parts of their children's lives.

Current Trend

Now that it is clear that shared parenting time is the way to go, more parents and courts are developing parenting plans to show that both parents are important parts of the children’s lives. However, it is still not as common as experts would like, though it is increasingly becoming the default.

At the beginning of this year, Illinois implemented a change that mirrors this trend and stopped using the term “custody” and “visitation” in regard to children. Now, the terms “parental responsibility” and “parenting time” are used. This change in language indicates that Illinois lawmakers are aware of the trend towards shared parenting and agree with the underlying principles. Experts believe that the reason why shared parenting has better outcomes than the traditional model is because parents may have different skills and strengths and children can look to the parent who is better at certain things when needed.

Reach Out to Us for Help

If you are in the process of developing a parenting plan or are looking for more parenting time with your children, please contact a knowledgeable parenting time attorney. Our passionate DuPage County parenting time attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help get the parenting time your children need and deserve.


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