Arizona’s conservative approach to most legal issues often means that the state is slow to adapt to change and progress, but in the case of shared parenting, Arizona tops the list.
The National Parents Organization released a study—the first of its kind—that focused on state child custody laws as they relate to shared parenting. The organization had expressed frustration at many courts’ reliance on old science that claims children are always better off living with their mothers, when in fact new studies have proven that children who are parented by both parents following divorce often have much better lives as a result.
Children that live in a shared parenting situation are often found to have lower levels of depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems than children that have a parent with sole custody. Unfortunately, these studies have yet to reach the court system that ultimately decides a child’s fate, so fighting for shared parenting can often be an uphill battle.
In its study, the National Parents Organization released a report card that rated a state’s child custody laws as they relate to and support shared parenting. Many states performed poorly, with most earning a C or D, but Arizona and Alaska took the lead with solid B ratings.
Ultimately, courts are being tasked with balancing each child’s need with each parent’s rights, which is a difficult task. Fortunately, our state offers families the best opportunity to pursue shared parenting status if that is a situation that satisfies both parameters. The family law attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten are pleased to find Arizona being recognized for its custody laws, and hope that the state only continues to improve its stance on shared parenting.