Because the amount of child support payments tend to increase with the amount of custodial time, non-custodial parents sometimes feel that their former spouse receives a windfall from their child support payment.
This has led to a push by many fathers-rights advocates to equalize the amount of time a child or children spend with both parents. While many states recommend that shared custody with the child spending half of their time with each parent, the reality is often starkly different.
In Nebraska, a study by State Court Administrator’s Office, found that mothers received sole custody about 50 percent of the time and joint custody about 30 percent of the time. Fathers were awarded sole custody much less often.
The legislature has indicated its preference in the state’s parenting law for shared custody. The study from the courts found noncustodial parents on average only received five days a month with their children.
Most research indicates that children in a divorce do better when they spend more time with both parents. Of course, this presumes that there is no domestic violence or child abuse within the household.
While shared custody is an ideal goal, it works best in divorces where both parents recognized that they must get along with each other, and minimize conflict. For some parents this remains a challenge.
There is no easy answer to this issue. Simply saying by fiat that all child custody arrangements should be shared does not mean it will happen. For a father to have equal time will mean he has to sacrifice his time at work and after work to prioritize for his children. As with many things, be careful what you wish for.