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Fathers' support groups want equal child custody time

Divorce changes many aspects of daily life, not just for the parents, but for the children as well. Often, one of the hardest decisions may be deciding who gets primary child custody. Many Maryland families have had to work out their own parenting plan after their divorce and may have consulted with an attorney to do so.

Fathers in one state have recently organized in the hopes of getting their lawmakers to draft a new bill that would require family court judges to consider equally shared custody first. Most states still award primary custody to the mother in the majority of cases. However, there is no law in place in this particular state that prevents parents from coming up with a plan that allows for fathers to spend more time with their children.

There is opposition to the idea of requiring a judge to order equitable custody. Every family dynamic is different, and not every child will ultimately benefit from a 50-50 split between their parents. Additionally, some experts are opposed to the idea of taking this important decision out of the court's control. For the time being, these fathers are still fighting for the chance to be more involved in their children's lives.

One professional mediator remarked that the idea of 50-50 custody sounds good until the parents try to work out the logistics. Many times, they realize that such an agreement may not be practical over the long-term. While it is unknown how successful these Illinois groups will be, Maryland families can still attempt to settle on their own child custody arrangements. In situations where it is difficult to resolve this issue or related matters, both parents can seek the experience and guidance of their own family law attorney.

Source:, "Groups push legislation for fathers' equality in court", David Blanchette, Jan. 29, 2017

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