In 2016, Florida became one of several states that passed a bill that would designate equal parenting time the default in child custody plans. However, the governor vetoed the bill. Despite this failure to get the bill passed, shared parenting is a growing trend throughout the country. However, some legal associations and women's groups oppose legislation, arguing that it may reduce protections for women from domestic abuse. They also say laws may reduce the likelihood that mothers will receive child support, which is an important tool for reducing income inequity between men and women.
The legislation and shared parenting, in general, has had support from fathers' rights groups that oppose the traditional model of divorced parents, where the father has a small amount of visitation time with the children, who live with their mother most of the time. Studies across 15 countries show that children benefit emotionally, physically and behaviorally from shared parenting situations. However, opponents of legislation argue that these studies are based on situations in which the parents get along and that in those situations, there is typically shared parenting without the need for legislation.
Another argument in favor of shared parenting is that it can benefit mothers by removing the burden of childcare from them. This allows them to return to school or further their careers.
A parent that needs to make a child custody agreement may want to talk to an attorney at a Venice, Florida, child custody law firm. Parents may be able to cooperate to reach an agreement on child custody instead of going to court, which gives them more control over the outcome. There may be circumstances in which shared parenting is not appropriate, such as if one parent is often away for work, and would create difficulties with childcare.