Shared custody can be an important principle for divorcing parents in California. While mothers are far more likely to receive custody of the children after a divorce, when fathers pursue joint physical custody they are in many cases likely to be successful.

Research studies have shown that children benefit from a shared parenting approach. Many state legislatures are proposing or implementing laws to mandate shared child custody as a default. Countries including Australia and Sweden normally favor shared custody absent a specific reason for a different plan.

Shared parenting aims to provide children with equal time with each parent. It can help to lower children’s stress levels and promotes responsible co-parenting. Numerous child development experts have reported on the benefits of shared parenting. This sentiment is widespread among the general public as well. Where people have been surveyed, a vast majority believe that parents sharing custody, responsibility and guidance is best for raising children with a strong sense of family support.

Shared parenting can also help to develop joint goals and a cooperative approach to child raising. Rather than fighting over custody, parents have a responsibility to work together and share time with their children. It can encourage the use of agreements that are responsive to the individual needs of each family. Parents who are ending their marriage could benefit from speaking with a family law attorney who can help to develop a child custody plan that works in the interests of the child and the entire family and that meets the requirements of the law. The plan can address issues such as holidays and extended vacations in order to avoid future disputes.