Welcome back, and thanks for joining us for this discussion on shared parenting in Michigan. If you’ve just stumbled on this series, or need a quick refresher on what shared parenting is exactly, we recommend you spend a minute catching up here. Otherwise, let’s pick up where we left off last time…
So what’s all the controversy about shared parenting?
Some people believe that shared parenting is the only way to go. Why? Because they believe that a child should have time with both parents, and both parents deserve to have equal time with their child. According to Linda Wright, chair of the National Parents Organization in Michigan, there is a lot of research to support the idea that children do better when allowed to be with both parents equally. In other words, it’s in the best interest of the child.
Why would shared parenting be better for a child?
According to the people who support shared parenting, and want HB 4691 to pass, there are lots of reasons why this would be better for kids and parents. For example:
- 84% of registered voters in Michigan support joint custody and equal parenting time after divorce, so this bill supports the will of the people
- Countless kids lose the chance to have relationships with both parents every year
- Too many parents, primarily dads, lose regular access to their children after divorce
- Children can feel unloved and unwanted by the parent who doesn’t see them often
- Having a strong relationship with both parents has been proven to be good for kid’s self esteem
But not everyone agrees it’s the right thing!
Diana Raimi, a member of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, who has researched the matter extensively, says it’s actually a bad idea. Why? Because not all parents are created equal, so to speak. Some parents are involved in their children’s lives, and make continued efforts to be the best parents they can be. Others don’t, and in those cases, detractors say, it isn’t fair to the good parents, or to the child, who will have to trade days of quality parenting for time spent with a parent who couldn’t be bothered.
Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t
If both parents love a child and want to be involved in their child’s life, then shared parenting makes perfect sense. But that isn’t always the case. Some parents are uninvolved. Some don’t care. Some couldn’t be bothered. And some struggle with substance abuse issues or have temper control problems that make them a less than safe parenting option. In those cases, shared parenting probably doesn’t make sense.
Do you have concerns about your custody agreement?
If you have any questions about child custody, or are interested in changing your current custody arrangement, please contact The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled family law attorneys have decades of experience, and can help you with all of your Michigan divorce and custody concerns.