Last week, the state of Kentucky did what many parents fail to do: look out for the best interests of children during the divorce process. In addition to tasty treats, young people found something else in their Easter baskets. While not expected, it was equally sweet. Kentucky children now have a better chance to see both of their parents after divorce.
Where parents once fought tooth and nail to “win” their children, those kids are now winning by default.
Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 492, a revised law unanimously passed by the state House and Senate that sets a different tone when starting the divorce process. It revises temporary child-custody orders by creating a presumption of joint custody and equal parenting time.
Prior to the new law’s enactment, the court selected one parent to have primary custody with the other having short visits with their children. Now, shared parenting is the preferred and much improved arrangement.
The results of various studies reveal the countless benefits of shared parenting. More children show interest in being involved in after-school athletic and non-athletic activities. Sons and daughters who regularly see both parents are less likely to take drugs and engage in premarital sex.
Parents sharing custody are not being denied time with their children, nor is single parenting occupying every aspect of their life. While the best interests of their children should always come first, divorced mothers and fathers will have the time to focus on their careers, attend to the needs of their own parents, and even start a new relationship.
The joint custody trend is spreading to surrounding states. As it continues to grow in prominence throughout the country, shared parenting is becoming the rule, not the exception.