Traditionally, mothers usually win child custody proceedings or cases involving the residence of the child. After separation and when the mother wins the residence of the child, it is not impossible for the latter to take the child overseas and never allow the child to see the other parent again. However, with the amendments to the Family law, Act the case is no longer the same.
The principle of shared of parental responsibility now allows both parents to spend equal time with their children. Thus, in deciding cases involving family issues, separation and divorce, as well as child custody, the court recognizes that the father should also have an equal right and access to his child. The court sees that shared-parenting helps establish a father-child relationship, which is also a crucial element in the development and growth of the child.
Listed below are some of the principles that explain why shared parenting is important.
A recent study suggests that shared parental responsibility may give more chances of family violence. Researchers feared that shared-parenting might only expose the child and the mother in danger especially when violence has been present in a relationship and high levels of fear has existed before separation.
However, the courts cleared that when family violence is involved, shared parental may be suspended. In deciding where the child would reside, the court sees to it that the decision is in the best interest of the child. If it has been established that the exposure of the child to the father places the child at risk of abuse, then the court may render a decision that is favourable to the interest of the child.
Upholding the principle of the best interest of the child, when family abuse is present, aims to protect the child from further harm and danger. Shared parenting may hard to manage between parents who have disputes with one another.