Although a child is created by two parents, both do not always get the chance to raise their son or daughter. Although research shows that Connecticut children do better overall when both parents are involved in their child’s life, the courts do these children and parents injustice by awarding sole custody 80 percent of the time. Children raised by single parents tend to have more behavioral problems than those who are raised jointly by both parents. Because of this, joint child custody should be considered in each case, especially when both parents are willing to be involved in their child’s life.
Courts are supposed to consider the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. If this is the case, then why are the courts neglecting the wishes of one parent, typically the father, and forcing the other to care for one or more children on her own? This does nothing to improve the child’s self-esteem. If anything, it impacts children negatively.
The statistics tell the story. Ninety percent of homeless children were raised by single parents. The same goes for 85 percent of those in prison and 75 percent of those in rehab. In addition, 71 percent of high school dropouts were raised by single parents. Of teen suicides, 63 percent of the victims were raised in single-parent households.
If this is what it is like to be raised by a single parent, why do courts continue to rule in favor of it? Joint custody means shared legal and physical custody of a child. It is difficult to regulate equal time with each parent. Plus, this type of arrangement is stressful and disruptive to a young child. As far as logistics go, it is close to impossible, especially if the parents live a considerable distance from each other. If the parents are not on amicable terms, their bitterness toward each other can make matters worse.