Many complicated issues can arise in connection to child custody. One of these issues is fathers' rights. Some argue that the methods used by many courts to determine child custody tend to disadvantage fathers and not give them a fair chance to have custody of their children. Some individuals and lawmakers look to custody law changes to address this alleged bias.
Reportedly, a bill is currently being developed in Alabama which, if passed, would change how that state handles child custody matters. The proposed law would direct judges to split child custody 50/50 between divorced parents. Judges would not have to follow this requirement in custody matters where abuse or neglect is involved.
What effects could this legislation have if passed? Proponents of the bill argue that a policy of 50/50 child custody splits would result in fathers being treated more fairly when it comes to custody matters. If true, this clearly could have benefits to fathers. It also could benefit children, as fairer child custody splits between divorced parents could give a child a better chance to form a strong relationship with both of his or her parents.
However, this bill could also have some negative effects. Opponents of the law say that in some cases, 50/50 child custody splits could result in children experiencing instability in the parenting they receive and that this instability could hurt children in the long run. Also, this law's reduction of judicial flexibility regarding child custody matters could potentially lead to problems.
This proposed law demonstrates how some individuals and lawmakers believe that changes to child custody laws are needed to make child custody proceedings fairer to fathers.
As can be seen from our above discussion, these types of changes to child custody laws could potentially cause many effects. Thus, when state lawmakers are considering these types of proposed custody law changes it is very important that they think carefully about these potential effects.
Source: WHNT, "New Bill Could Change Child Custody Laws In Alabama," Nick Banaszak, 30 March 2011