"There's no longer the same presumption that young children must be with their mother."Courts are changing as well; in the small percentage (5 percent) of custody cases that do go to litigation, judges are now more inclined to disregard gender and look at who's the better parent, says Gary Nickelson, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Nationwide, the proportion of divorced spouses who opt for joint physical custody, where kids spend anywhere between 33 and 50 percent of their time with one parent and the rest with the other, are still small—about 5 percent, according to an analysis of data from the '90's on post-divorce living arrangements by clinical psychologist Joan B. But in California and Arizona, where statutes permitting joint physical custody were adopted in the '80s, a decade earlier than in most states, the joint-physical-custody rates were higher, ranging from 12 to 27 percent.
Formal custody assignments don't tell the whole story of increased involvement by divorced fathers.
He remembered missing his father tremendously and didn't want that for our kids.Research to be published in the journal Family Relations in 2009 shows that there have been significant increases in how much nonresident dads (those who don't have primary custody) are seeing their kids.In 1976, only 18 percent of these dads saw their children (ages 6-12) at least once a week. "It's likely that more fathers are seeing their children midweek for dinner or an overnight. "There's been a cultural shift—a father's involvement with their children is seen as important and positive," says Emery who is also the author of "The Truth About Children and Divorce" ().Our attorney mediators, parenting mediators, accountant mediators, and financial counselors integrate their services in our unique divorce mediation program.
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The older one was 8 and still slept as she had when she was a newborn, arms thrown high above her head.