Child custody and shared parenting
Certified Family Law Specialist
I used this article, Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report, successfully for a father in a recent child custody case. The article is a consensus report on the merits of shared parenting. There is an increasing body of literature – social science – on the merits of shared parenting. This article represents the best distillation of the science on the subject that I have been able to find. The conclusions begin on page 59, for anyone who wants to skip to the bottom line. Every case is different, and I explore the facts of each of my cases to determine whether there is a reason to consider something other than a shared parenting relationship. Locally, I think that is the majority approach, among my colleagues, and generally among the three judges in our Buncombe County Family Court. Recently, I hired a local expert to read the conclusions of this article into the record of proceedings to reinforce for the Court what I believe to be the majority approach to child custody. Whether you are a lawyer, a judge or a litigant, the time has come to think carefully about the emerging social science of child custody. Ultimately, child custody cases are about the child’s developmental experience, which needs to include mom and dad, in equal proportion, absent unusual circumstances.