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Ranking states according to child custody equality

With Father's Day approaching, many dads may be thinking about how they will spend the day with their kids. Their custody arrangements likely include Father's Day weekend so the children can celebrate the influence of their dads in their lives. Missouri dads going through divorce may be encouraged by the recent child custody trends that provide a more balanced time for the children to be with both parents. Although shared parenting looks good on paper, a recent study shows that it may not be put into practice as often as it should be.

The Custody X Change, a website that provides access to parenting schedules for both parents, conducted a survey to determine how well states are doing in providing the equal parenting that their laws require. About 40 states have laws requiring family courts to divide parenting time as equitably as possible when parents are no longer living together. Of course, the court makes exceptions in cases such as when there is abuse, incarceration or parents living in different states.

The study discovered that about 20 states seem to be doing well with custody arrangements divided equally between parents about 50 percent of the time. This means fathers may be with their children about 183 days a year. However, courts in other states allow fathers to have custody of the children far less, with one state averaging about 80 days a year for a dad to be with his kids.

Missouri was among the 20 states attempting to consistently allow father's equal child custody. Dads going through a divorce in this state can take comfort in the fact that the law is on their side. However, this does not always mean the court will rule in their favor. It helps to have strong legal representation who will fight for a father's right to equal custody.

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