New York Survey Shows Strong Support for Joint Parenting
Changes in American society over the past 50 years have upended the old standard used in child custody determinations, which favored the mother. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of parents feel that joint parenting works best following a divorce or a breakup between parents who were never married. Numerous states have enacted laws that promote joint parenting and make these arrangements easier for the parties. However, New York has lagged in this area, despite the fact that residents here support these measures by a wide margin.
A poll conducted by the National Parents Organization demonstrates how strongly New Yorkers feel about the subject and highlights some key elements of the effort to promote joint parenting:
- Parenting time adjustments — Some states set child support responsibilities based on the amount of time that the youth spends in each parent’s home. Currently, this is not the case in New York. Having an automatic formula in place encourages shared parenting, because a paying parent is assured that the amount they owe will be adjusted downward to reflect the time that they are taking care of their son or daughter’s basic needs.
- Statutory revisions — New York law does not currently state that it is usually in a child’s best interests to spend as much time as possible with both parents after a divorce. In the poll, 85 percent of New Yorkers said they would support a revision that would codify this goal. Though many bills promoting shared parenting have been proposed over the years, opposition from certain groups has prevented these measures from advancing in the legislature.
- Fathers’ rights — Though the state’s child custody statutes do not explicitly favor mothers over fathers, the lack of explicit language calling for shared parenting tends to reinforce the traditional bias against fathers. By making joint parenting the default arrangement, the judge and parties will start from a position that the child’s time in each home should be equal. Unfortunately, outdated stereotypes mean that many judges assume that a mother should have primary physical custody unless fathers show some compelling reason why that shouldn’t be the case.
Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. works with clients throughout Long Island to establish child custody arrangements that give both parents ample time with their children whenever possible. For a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer regarding your situation, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.