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This bill could change one state's child custody approach

Maryland residents may be aware of the widespread shift toward equally divided custody of shared children. This child custody trend has been underway for some time, with various states around the nation considering and sometimes passing legislation that changes the way that family courts approach these cases. One state is currently considering a bill that would require judges to approach all child custody matters from the position that shared 50/50 custody is the preferred solution.

Many people strongly oppose this bill. They feel that child custody matters are best handled on an individual basis, with a judge who is empowered to make determinations based on the particulars of each individual case. They fear that forcing judges to begin from a position of 50/50 custody could lead to negative outcomes for families, especially those who are plagued by domestic violence.

Those who support the bill argue that the current system places fathers at a disadvantage when it comes to securing shared parental rights and responsibilities. They point out that fathers continue to receive far less time with their children than mothers, and are often relegated to a supporting role in important decision-making. They believe that the bill would provide a fair and equal starting point for all child custody cases.

Maryland readers may feel that legislation in another state has little bearing on their own lives. In reality, however, child custody laws change in accordance with social trends. As more and more states move toward equal custody, it is important for individuals who feel strongly about the matter to share their opinions with their elected representatives.

Source:, "Bill would revamp how child custody decided," Evan Dean, Aug. 21, 2017

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