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Minnesota families may benefit from pursuing joint child custody

A couple of decades ago, it was typically mothers who would receive sole physical custody of the children. Fathers would be allowed visitation rights every other weekend and on certain holidays. However, this has been steadily changing over the years. It appears that joint child custody is much more common today in Minnesota and across the nation.

In 1986, there were roughly 80 percent of child custody cases that granted the mothers sole custody. In 2008, that number dropped to 42 percent. Over the years, equal joint custody between both parents increased 22 percent and unequal joint custody increased 15 percent.

The primary reason behind joint custody becoming so common in today's custody cases is due to the fact that it is generally in the best interests of the child. With joint custody, the child is provided access to both parents, allowing them to foster a healthy relationship with mom and dad. It also allows for both sides of the family and the child to build thriving relationships with one another rather than simply with one side of the family.

Courts typically prefer that children be able to build a solid relationship with both parents, and this can be done through joint child custody. In certain circumstances, such as when substance abuse or domestic abuse is a concern, joint custody may not be in the best interests of the child. Minnesota parents can work together to create a parenting plan that will benefit the child. When they are unable to reach a mutual agreement, the court can and will take into consideration a number of factors and decide what is best for the child.

Source: Psych Central News, "Joint Custody Becoming the Norm", Rick Nauert, May 22, 2014

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