While California residents may not have much knowledge about shared parenting, it can have benefits for mothers, fathers and children after a divorce. In about 80 percent of child custody cases, the mother is awarded physical custody. This means that a mother may not be able to go back to work while a father may be disappointed to have limited contact with his children.

Research has shown that children who have both parents in their lives generally do better than those who don’t. Giving custody to mothers more often than fathers is partially because women are still seen as homemakers while men are still seen as breadwinners for their families. Embracing shared parenting helps to treat parents equally and helps society move away from outdated stereotypes. By shifting to a shared parenting paradigm, women have a greater chance of excelling in the workplace.

Compared to the United States, Canada has a higher percentage of women in the workplace partially because of attitudes toward raising children. Kentucky and Missouri have passed laws that help move the states closer to adopting a shared parenting philosophy. Many other states are considering reforms that would move toward a shared parenting model. In Boston, the 2017 International Conference on Shared Parenting shared research that further shows the benefits of such an approach.

Child custody may be among the most contentious issues during a divorce. However, allowing both parents to have equal custody of their children may be better for the child in the long run. Typically, the needs of the child outweigh the needs of the parents.