Equal shared parenting is not always the best option as you may think it is. Irrespective of traditions or custom practices, any parent seeking to be granted custody of a child will have to achieve custody independently through court. Custody can never be automatically transferred or given. It needs to be granted. Custody litigation is at a high given the rising separations and divorce rates. Keeping that in mind, have you ever wondered what procedure a court should follow when dealing with custody litigation? True, it varies from case to case, but what is really going on in these courts when they need to make a decision dealing with adoptions, divorced couples, or single parents? Should the mother be granted custody or the father? What about single parents? Are they capable enough? What if we are talking about gay couples? Come to think of it, at what age are kids even allowed to have a say?
If you notice, in all these questions, we are more concerned about the capabilities of the parents rather than what the children want. Unfortunately, to achieve equality amongst men and women, we have put the needs of parents above that of children in such matters. It is extremely important to realize that in order to do just with the parents, we should at no cost overlook the interests of children. Before anything, child welfare is a detrimental aspect that must be taken into notice by the court while dealing with custodial rights. Factors such as financial security of the parent, parent behavior, character, and capacity of a parent need to be given great importance. Courts should put in active effort to figure out who the child bonds with better, who that child calls for when in a problem, or who is able to spend more time with the child. Such factors are more important when determining child custody as they work for the interest of the child.
To derive the most beneficial decision for the child, certain components are very important. Firstly, the age of the child and which parent they bond with better. Moving on consistency is important. A parent who can maintain the same routine for the child is better. The court should keep a keen eye on evidence that proves the capabilities of the respective parent. Last but highly significant, the safety of the child in that environment and parental presence is vital. Courts generally incline towards the parent that promises the same routine and environment. They believe such great change so fast will be highly overwhelming for a child. The child is preferred to be kept in the same locality, the same school, but the other parent is allowed to meet.
However, it is not necessary that not relocating is always the best choice. In case the relocation promises a better and brighter future, the court may prefer it over the other. Instead of making it a war between parents, with the winner getting custody and others leaving empty-handed, it should be more about child betterment, even if that means equal shared parenting.