Family Law Reform: Minimizing Conflict, Maximizing Families

Establishing and maintaining a parent child relationship is of fundamental importance to the welfare of a child. Therefore, the relationship between a child and both parents should be fostered unless inconsistent with the child’s best interest.

Further, any legal process that allocates parenting functions and responsibilities should be guided by each child’s best interests.

Post divorce arrangements should aim to promote the maintenance of the relationship between nonresidential parents and their children. Most children in two parent families form psychologically important and distinctive relationships with both of their parents, even though one may be a primary caretaker. These relationships are not redundant because mothers and fathers each make unique contributions to their children.

The majority of children experiencing parental divorce express the desire to maintain relationships with both of their parents after separation. Time distribution arrangements that ensure the involvement of both parents in important aspects of their children’s everyday lives and routines—including bedtime and waking rituals, transitions to and from school, extracurricular and recreational activities—are likely to keep nonresidential parents playing psychologically important and central roles in the lives of their children. How this is accomplished must be flexibly tailored to the developmental needs, temperament and changing individual circumstances of the children.”

[Source:  The Ohio Task Force on Family Law and Children]

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