Divorce in the Age of Equal Parenting~ 2 min read

Divorce is a significant life event that can bring about many changes, especially when children are involved. In today’s world, the concept of equal parenting is reshaping the landscape of custody arrangements and how divorcing couples navigate the process.

Equal parenting, also known as shared parenting, moves away from the traditional notion of one parent having primary custody while the other has visitation rights. Instead, it emphasizes a more balanced approach, aiming for a 50-50 split in parenting time unless circumstances dictate otherwise. This shift is based on the idea that both parents play essential roles in a child’s life and should share responsibilities equally whenever possible.

One significant impact of this shift is the changing role of judges in custody decisions. While the best interest of the child remains the ultimate priority, Missouri law now provides for  a presumption of equal parenting unless there are compelling reasons, such as substance abuse or severe mental illness, to deviate from this arrangement.

The actual implementation of equal parenting can vary depending on the circumstances of each family. Collaborative Divorce offers couples the opportunity to negotiate and tailor parenting arrangements according to their unique situation and the needs of their children. This approach encourages open communication and focuses on finding solutions that prioritize the well-being of the entire family.

Despite the intention to create fair and balanced custody arrangements, the practicalities of equal parenting can present challenges, particularly for children. Transitioning between two different households with distinct rules and routines can be emotionally and mentally taxing for children. Additionally, logistical issues, such as coordinating schedules and transporting belongings, can add further stress.

Moreover, the emphasis on equal parenting can sometimes lead to contentious negotiations, especially when child support is a factor. Some parents may push for a 50-50 split primarily to lower their child support obligations or increase the support they receive.

It’s essential to recognize that while equal parenting aims to create fairness, its impact on children should remain a central consideration. The well-being and emotional stability of children should always take precedence over parental preferences or financial considerations.

Ultimately, the goal of any custody arrangement should be to create a supportive environment where children can thrive despite the changes brought about by divorce. By prioritizing the needs of the children and fostering cooperation between parents, families can navigate divorce in a way that minimizes conflict and promotes positive outcomes for everyone involved.

If you have questions or need legal assistance regarding divorce or any other family law matter, please contact Jennifer Piper at 314-449-9800 to schedule a consultation. 

Family Ally is located at 130 S. Bemiston Ave., Suite 608, St. Louis, MO 63105.

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