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There is no perfect model when it comes to child custody plans

Back when divorces were less common, it was customary for mothers to be the primary caretakers when a marriage ended. That has been changing in recent years, as both parents and the courts are more open to child custody agreements that better meet the needs of children. Though California has its own laws concerning how custody can be decided, if parents can find a workable solution, then their children will likely benefit in the end.

For the majority of dads who were divorced, it was common for them to be allowed alternate weekends and one or two days a week to spend with their children. Researchers have determined, though, that young children especially, tend to do better when they are permitted more time with both parents. As a result of the growing awareness by parents that their children's needs must be given priority, they are more willing to find creative solutions that allow both parents to play a more active role in the lives of their children.

Some families have opted for a 'nesting' type arrangement. This usually entails leaving the children in the family home while the parents take turns rotating in and out on a predetermined schedule. This allows for consistency for their children and still allows parents the opportunity to live separately. Other families have chosen to remain in the home together while occupying separate private living spaces. Still others have arrived at a custody schedule that provides for more equal parenting time in each parent's own home.

In the end, families are proving that they are more willing to ensure that their children's needs are taking precedence over their own desires in many situations. However, every family's needs are unique, and there are circumstances that would be counterproductive for these types of joint or shared child custody arrangements. California parents who are struggling to arrive at a parenting plan that will work best for their particular needs may benefit from seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney who can help them find the optimum solutions for their children's best interests.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Why modern custody agreements look so different: 'Anything goes, as long as the children are happy'", Danielle Braff, March 8, 2018

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