With a divorce where the couple has children, some of the more contentious issues of the proceeding may involve the custody of the children. For many years, the custody matters have followed the current of American society, with women taking the role of caregiver to the children, and often being awarded custody.
For fathers, this has meant a diminished role, and they frequently receive visitation rights and may only see their children a few days a month. There are a great many reason for this, ranging from the bias of judges, seeing mothers as more “nurturing,” to father’s with jobs that demand a significant percentage of their time away from home, traveling for business. But it has caused many fathers to feel neglected and ignored.
This has led to the father’s rights movement pushing to make shared parenting a standard feature in the family law statutes of most states. While Missouri does not have a shared parenting presumption, the good news is that parents are able to draft parenting plans that fully implement a shared child custody arrangement during their divorce.
Because your divorce settlement is essentially a contract with your former spouse, and your attorney can tailor your parenting plan to your specific circumstances and needs. The other advantage to drafting a comprehensive parenting plan that will control your child custody arrangements is that it provides clarity and sets expectations.
This can greatly help reduce conflict between parents and reduce stress on the children. Your children will know when you and their other parent are fighting and in conflict, and it will affect them. With a comprehensive parenting plan, you can defuse much of the potential for disputes in advance and ensure that your relationship with your is business like and efficient.
Source: parentherald.com, “Father’s Day 2015: Shared Parenting Gaining Support, Equal-Time Child Custody the New Post-Divorce Arrangement,” June 19, 2015