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Governing bodies encourage parents to opt for joint custody

Divorces can be difficult and emotionally stressful, both for the spouses and for any children involved. Children need both parents during their growing years. In the past, fathers were often not awarded child custody, as mothers were believed to take better care of the child. The trend seems to be changing now in the United States and in Minnesota.

The United States government has become gender-neutral in cases of child custody and is encouraging both parents to opt for joint custody. According to a recent study, the rates of sole child custody to mothers among divorced couples dropped from 80 percent down to 74 percent between the years 1986 and 1994. The joint custody percentage has increased from seven percent to 14 percent. Joint custody arrangements are more common among high-income parents and the age and gender of the children are apparently not factors in determining which parent will get the child custody.

Child custody cases vary depending upon the situation. In some cases, one of the parents is financially or mentally not capable of taking care of the children. In such exceptional cases, the court can still consider sole legal and physical custody.

It is best to consult an attorney when one is dealing with divorce and child custody issues. In child custody decisions, courts consider the best interest of the child as the paramount concern. The best custody decisions are usually those which result from parents working cooperatively with each other to make best decisions for their children.

Source: HNGN.com, "Joint Custody Of Children Is Becoming A Norm In US," May 22, 2014

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