In January of 2011 a law was passed in PA to have mandated shared 50/50 custody before the well being of the child is analyzed. However, not all custody situations of 50/50 custody are in the best interest of the child. 50/50 custody ONLY works in the most ideal situations and a judge can always order it in those instances. Each case needs to be looked at individually and not automatically 50/50. Childrens welfare and well being are not being addressed and not every separation or divorce is amicable.
There are clear cases when there is high conflict and that presumption of shared custody isn't in the best interest of the child. Having an equal division of both possession time and parental rights and responsibilities doesn't ensure the child's safety and best interest.
Some responsibilities must go to one parent, such as the right to get the child medical attention, the child's ability to participate in school functions, the ability to partake in extracurricular activities, the spiritual religious upbringing, the primary residence etc.
The geography of the parents homes and the length of time the child would be in the car. It makes sense for the child to spend the school year primarily with one parent for homework and stability purposes. If parents live in different school districts this shouldn't be shared custody.
The equal influence on the child isn't always in the best interest of the child. Give children a home and let their emotional and physical well being be with the better parent. There are so many kids being abused, neglected, with alcoholics, addicts, mental illnesses, DVPO (Domestic Violence Protection Orders), and horrific things are happening to them and their lives are being stamped 50/50 regardless of the situation. The 16 factors need to be addressed at the very beginning to help determine the best interest of the child, not the parents. At the very least children need to be with one parent throughout the school year, especially if they live in different school districts. These children deserve a place to call HOME and not be bounced around like a ping pong ball.
Children are suffering years of abuse in fear and silence while the parent who sought to protect them are driven to the brink financially and psychologically.
At some point, authorities need to acknowledge that the safety of a child should be considered more seriously than the possibility that a parent is lying to smear the other parent.These children deserve stability and love. Let these children strive and become the people God intended them to be. By the time children are able to decide, the damage has already been done! This isn't a moms movement, this isnt a dads movement, this is a KIDS movement! Its time for children to have a voice!
We as parents, family counselors, teachers, attorneys, judges and mediators need to tailor each case involving children on a case by case basis. The only way custody is in the best interest of the child, is to look at each child/case individually. The custodial arrangement must be based upon the best interest of the child, and not what some legislators mandate. The way the current Title 23 stands, it is failing our children and their future.