In 80 percent of child custody cases that are decided by a judge, the mother receives physical custody. However, research suggests that both mom and dad should play a role in raising their kids. Generally, a child in Wisconsin should only be kept away from a parent if that parent is abusive or negligent in any way.
One reason why shared parenting isn't the norm in America is a belief that children may be caught in the middle. Judges may believe that a child could be forced to be loyal to one parent over the other or generally become part of conflicts involving parents. In a study, an adolescent and educational psychology from Wake Forest found that the presence of conflict should not be used as a reason to award sole custody. In many cases, conflicts resolve themselves over time.
However, decisions made about a child may impact that child for many years to come. The study also found that the relationship between the parent and the child was more important than the relationship between the parents when it came to quality outcomes for the child. It suggests that programs and policies be put in place to strengthen relationships between parents and children while also finding ways to shield them from conflict.
While going to court may help resolve child custody matters, it may be possible for parents to create their own parenting plans. This may allow both parents to develop meaningful relationships with their children after a divorce. As long as a parenting plan looks out for the best interests of the child, it is likely to be approved by a judge. Legal counsel can review a plan before submitting it to the court.