3 Modern Trends in Child Custody Agreements

3 Modern Trends in Child Custody Agreements

Handling child custody cases is undoubtedly complicated.

However, these cases have evolved, primarily due to changing people’s attitudes. Traditionally, determinations were majorly based on gender roles. Mothers were mainly awarded custody of their kids after separation.

However, this is no longer the case, as modern custody cases focus more on the child’s best interests. Similarly, unlike before, when there were no formal agreements, modern custody issues are formalized in court. This makes it prudent for each party to hire a family law firm for guidance. Below are a few changes that have occurred to child custody arrangements.

#1 – Joint Custody

Traditional agreements focused mostly on gender roles. However, in modern cases, the court may recommend joint custody, where both parents share the responsibility of taking care of their child or children.

However, there is legal and physical joint custody. Legal joint custody is where both parents agree on all issues relating to the child. On the other hand, physical custody focuses on where the child will reside and visitation rights.

Due to this, custody arrangements require that both parents communicate and cooperate effectively. They should work together to make sound decisions for the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, while joint custody means the child has access to both parents, it may not be suitable for all families. For instance, parents with deeply rooted conflicts may not execute this perfectly without challenges.

#2 – Alternative Dispute Resolution

Most custody cases often end up in court. However, this new trend is gradually becoming popular among separating parents. This option essentially means solving child custody issues outside court. ADR options include:

● Mediation: This involves engaging a third party to facilitate communication between the separated couple. Parents and the mediator find ways of creating a parenting plan that suits both parties.

● Parenting coordination: Here, a professional, known as a parenting coordinator, helps divorcing parents create and implement a parenting plan. The coordinator helps both parties communicate effectively and resolve any pending conflicts.

●     Collaborative law: The success of collaborative law heavily depends on the willingness of both parties to collaborate and work towards their child’s upbringing. The couple, each with their lawyer, work together to negotiate custody arrangements that will fit their schedules. This option minimizes the emotional and financial costs of litigation.

This is a perfect option for willing parents. Parents can also use this opportunity to resolve their conflicts.

#3 – Child Best Interest Standards

These are guiding principles used to determine custody arrangements and other issues in family law. These standards intersect with legal custody battles but primarily focus on the child’s best interest. The courts or deciding agencies prioritize the child’s well-being above parental interests.

Factors like the child’s age, gender, developmental needs, and the general well-being of the parents are considered. History of abuse or violence and the child’s preferences are also considered.


Child custody battles are complicated, especially if the separating parents have ongoing conflicts. Nonetheless, parents are encouraged to prioritize their children’s life above everything. While these disputes are emotionally taxing, the stability and well-being of affected children should remain the primary focus.

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