Divorce or separation is not easy on anyone, especially when there are young children involved. If possible, both parents should remain a part of their children’s lives. However, some states fare better than others when it comes to equal parenting time between the father and mother. Traditionally, the mother has been given more parenting time, but that is not always the case in the US now.
How about parenting time in South Carolina?
A new study shows deficiencies
The National Parents Organization is a nationwide parents’ rights group. They recently released a study that grades each state on shared parenting time. South Carolina received a “D-” grade.
The National Parents Organization says that state statutes specify a “friendly parent” factor as one relevant factor in determining the child’s best interest when making custody decisions. However, the statute is vague. There is no statutory preference or presumption of shared parenting (with either legal or physical custody).
Only two states received “A” grades from the National Parents Organization.
Why is shared parenting important?
There is growing evidence amongst researchers that equal shared parenting time by separated parents is often in the best interests of the child. This is the case even when there is conflict (non-violent) between the two parents.
Many states have moved to strengthen language in their state laws to promote shared parenting as the norm when parents are living apart. Of course, the states still take into account situations of physical abuse, substance abuse, and other relevant factors.
Studies have shown that 35% of children in fatherless or single-parent families fare worse in terms of their emotional well-being as well as their physical and mental health. They are more prone to child abuse, crime, and substance abuse. Children in fatherless or single-parent families represent 85% of those in prison, 85% of teenage pregnancies, and 63% of teen suicides.
Contact a South Carolina divorce attorney
If you are going through a divorce and are worried about shared parenting time, you can turn to the Elliott Frazier Law Firm. Contact our Greenville child custody lawyers for a consultation today so we can plan your next steps forward together.