Does equal parenting increase parent conflict?

There has been a neutral impact on parent conflict and on legal conflict. This suggests that the Arizona law has had a neutral impact.

does equal parenting increase litigation?

There is a slight increase noticed in litigation in Arizona. Arizona passed a law maximizing parenting time. The number of court hearings and post-decree filings are seen to have increased somewhat, suggesting that some parents have returned to court to seek modifications of their parenting plans under the new law.

The law does not have the words equal or rebuttable presuption in it. Arizona left how much time was maximum up to the judges. The legislators saw that the majority of judges were already interpreting “maximum” as equal.

The Arizona appellate court has decided that “maximum” parenting time is a rebuttable presumption of equal parenting.*

Dr. William Fabricius spent years educating the judges on the benefits of equal parenting time plans, so once the “maximum” time law passed in Arizona the judges were already primed to order equal parenting time as a starting point unless the presumption was rebutted.

*PRO SE NOTE: For parents who are pro se litigants and in other states, this does not mean that your state appellate court will interpret this the same way. One of the ways that appellate courts interpret the language in your statutes is according to the legislative intent.

Does Equal parenting increase domestic violence complaints?

Studies have found there is a slight increase. The increase is so slight that it barely has more thana  neutral impact.

Does equal parenting increase domestic violence and abuse allegations?

A very small increase, just above neutral. This is consisent with another study done in Oregon in 1997 when they legislated a child custody and mediation change (Allen & Brinig, 2011).

Does Equal Custody reduce child support payments?

It is proven that an obligor who sees their child more is more likely to pay ordered child support.

Does equal custody affect how much child support is awarded?

Child support awards will be affected slightly. The child support formulas take into account possession time. So the amount of child support awarded will decrease somewhat because child support awards adjust incrementally in line with parenting time so increases in parenting time will result in comparable decreases in child support. 

Since most child support is paid by fathers, an equal parenting law can be ssen as slightly more beneficial to fathers financially and somewhat detrimental to m;tohers’ financial situations.

Both parents however after a divorce or separation due to the restructuring of the fam;ily unit to a two-household unit, generally both will be required to work in order to maintain their separate households. 

What does the research show about equal parenting?

Research shows that children who get more access to both of their parents are healthier and happier, do better in school, and have fewer behavioral problems, and less likely to drop out of school, use drugs, get pregnant, be depressed or as likely to suffer from anxiety disorders.

Professor Fabricius from Arizona’s research shows that even children under 2 years old benefit from spending equivalent overnights with fathers. He also finds that these overnights benefit the father-child relationship even when the parents do not agree to shared parenting.

You can get his work here: Should Infants and Toddlers have Frequent Overnight Parenting Time with Fathers? The Policy Debate and New Data — William V. Fabricius & Go Woon Suh 

Dr. Edward Kruk finds that shared parenting from the outset prevents the need to fight over who will win so their is less liklihood that a parent will be triggered to the level of violence. 

“. . .“winner-take-all”sole custody plans couldexacerbate interparental conflict, and might lead to violence. Fully half of first-time family violence occurs at the time the parents are separating, often in the midst of adversarial “winner-take-all” custody disputes (Ellis & Wight-Peasley, 1986; Hotton, 2003). Johnston, Roseby, and Kuehnle (2009) discussed the high occurrence of“separation-related violence” during adversarial child custody proceedings. When neither parent is threatened by the loss of his or her children, conflict or violence are likely to diminish. The animosity that can be created by sole custody arrangements seems tailor-made to produce the worst possible outcomes when two loving, competent parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, and the conflict and violence escalate.”

You can find Dr. Kruk’s research here: “Arguments Against a Presumption of Shared Physical Custody in Family Law” by Edward Kruk.

We would like to remind you however that you should not rely too heavily on research studies because for every study that you find that says it is good for children, the other side could find research that contradicts your finding or find that the research you use might have some other discussion in it that puts doubt in a judges mind. 

So you can use research a tad bit as a feel good measure, just keep in mind that your rights are not dependent on whether or not the majority is in agreement on whether you should or should not have rights. The push for starting with equal parenting is because judges have been under the presumption that they grant rights according to best interest of the child. This means that they presume you have no rights until they grant them back to you. You will be disappointed when you are told that you have joint legal custody and joint physical custody, but the actual care, custody, control, responsibilities, and duties are not equally split.

PRO SE NOTE?: Your rights are protected constitutionally. This means that no one should be able to vote this right away. The only thing that should be coming between you and your inalienable rights is if you endanger your child directly (commit child abuse, neglect, or abandonment). 

 

 

You can find links to more studies here.