Henry Gornbein doesn’t think so. Gornbein is a Michigan attorney who has specialized in divorce and family law for over 40 years who feels that state legislatures should not mandate equal time-sharing for divorcing couples. He states that “divorce is not a situation – especially with children — where one size fits all. It is important for an attorney and for the courts to look at each case differently.” To illustrate his point, Gorbein uses examples where one parent is extremely controlling, has a substance abuse problem or has committed domestic violence. He feels strongly that every divorce involving children must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and that “lawyers, judges, family counselors and mediators need to tailor each case involving children with a custodial arrangement that is based upon the best interests of the children, and not what some legislators mandate”. You can read his full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-gornbein/why-equal-child-custody-s_b_1796442.html

The flipside to his argument was laid out by Fred Silberberg, a Beverly Hills, California attorney who has been specializing in Family Law for more than 25 years. Silberberg argues that equal time-sharing between parents should be the legal norm. In supporting his suggestion, Silberberg states that “each year, cases are tied up in court by one parent trying to maintain control over the custody of the children. In these situations, the parent who is seeking equal custody can be tied up in very expensive litigation to establish a right that to their children that, had the parents not been divorced, they would automatically have”. He states that if it was a matter of statutory policy that in all cases, children should spend equal time with both parents, several benefits would result. “It would foster the existing public policy of frequent contact with both parents. It would send society a message concerning the importance of both parents being involved with their children. It would also result in a significant reduction in the amount of custody litigation that takes place in our courts. Not only would this help address existing problems of court congestion, but it would also spare thousands of children each year from being dragged into the middle of a battle between their parents. It would also discourage certain types of litigants from attempting to keep control over the children in the hope that it will result in greater financial remuneration in the form of child support.”

Siberberg doesn’t feel that each parent should automatically get equal time-sharing  but rather there be a presumption for equal time-sharing  “If the law presumed that any parent who wanted an equal time-sharing arrangement was entitled to it, it would place the burden on the other parent to make a convincing case that there was a real reason to deviate from this custody arrangement. That would significantly change the dynamics of custody litigation and it would discourage certain individuals from engaging in custody litigation that serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary expense, depletion of family resources, and significant unnecessary stress on the children and the other parent.” You can read his full article:

Equal Custody Between Parents Should Be the Legal Norm

So, what do you think?

Andrew G. Storie is a family law and divorce attorney who serves Orlando and all of Central Florida. For more information, or if you have questions please visit www.storielaw.com or call us at (407) 838-0887