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Proposed bill for automatic decision in some child custody cases

Many divorced or separated Pennsylvania fathers feel the court is biased when it comes to child custody. There is a frustration that primary child custody will automatically be granted to the mother simply because she is the mother. Many fathers often believe they are not heard, at times even when the potential for danger exists should the child be placed with the mother. One state is trying to change this perceived bias with the passage of a specific bill.

The bill calls for shared custody by default if the parents cannot come to an acceptable arrangement on their own. It has been promoted as a way to ensure fathers have as much time to spend with their children as the mothers. That state is not the only one considering passing such legislation; nearly half the states across the country have contemplated shared parenting laws.

There are several organizations against an automatic shared custody presumption. Those against the bill say it hinders parents from working cooperatively to attain an agreement and could result in a higher number of custody battles that will end up just costing both parents more money. It also takes the individuality of a situation out of the equation, ultimately bringing the possibility of more harm than good to the child. Some could say such a measure may not be necessary, as one state's 20-year study of its own records found that there was a decrease in the number of cases in which the mother was granted sole legal custody and that the percentage of shared custody rulings doubled.

When parents just cannot agree, fighting a child custody battle can get frustrating on both sides. Many parents can be overwhelmed to the point they do not know where to turn. An attorney who is thoroughly familiar with the family laws in Pennsylvania will propose a strong strategy that will ensure the best interests of the client's child are presented to the court.

Source: kansascity.com, "Kansas bill would give divorcing parents equal time by default", Jonathan Shorman, Jan. 28, 2018

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