Some Texas fathers who are going through a divorcestruggle to get custody of their children. Courts still tend to favor giving physical custody to mothers, but shared parenting is on the rise. This arrangement, in which children spend about the same amount of time with each parent, has been shown to be beneficial for children, and it is the usual practice in some countries such as Sweden and Australia. Several U.S. states have also passed laws that encourage shared parenting.
Various surveys have indicated that the public also supports shared parenting. An arrangement in which parents cooperate with one another may be cheaper and less time-consuming to negotiate than a case that involves litigation over one parent having primary physical custody.
Furthermore, studies show that some children from single-parent households struggle more than children who have equal contact with both parents. Children of single parents make up 85 percent of the prison population and 71 percent of high school dropouts. They are also more likely to commit suicide or end up homeless.
Parents may be able to work together to reach a child custody agreement. Even if shared parenting is not practical for some reason, the noncustodial parent may want to seek ample visitation time. Furthermore, in the parenting plan, parents can make an agreement that ensures that the noncustodial parent has plenty of vacation and holiday time with the child as well as regular time. A cooperative relationship between parents may also mean that they can work out conflicts between themselves rather than returning to court, and this is usually what the judge would prefer as well. Even modifications that must go through legal channels, such as a child support modification, may be negotiated by the parents with the help of their respective family law attorneys and then submitted to a judge for approval.