Shocking Statistics Show the Bleak Reality of Joint Custody in Nebraska
In Nebraska, a debate is raging on the merits of joint custody, also known as shared parenting.
As a result of the intense arguments brewing, the Nebraska Administrative Office of the Courts released a shocking report on child custody orders in the state.
From 2002 to 2012:
- 72 percent of the time mothers were awarded sole or primary custody
- 13.8 percent of the time fathers were awarded sole or primary custody
- 12.3 percent of the time equal parenting time was awarded
- 72 percent of child custody cases result in dads only seeing their children 5.5 days a month.
Conflict arose last year when a state senator introduced Legislative Bill 22, which would change the Nebraska Parenting Act to presume that all parents should have equal parenting time rather than assume that the mother should have sole or primary custody.
On the heels of the introduction of the bill, strong anti-joint custody groups angrily rose up, including the Nebraska State Bar (although the Nebraska Supreme Court later ruled this was an inappropriate action).
The Nebraska Administrative Office of the Courts was compelled to write the report by many of the anti-shared parenting advocates, making it seem inevitable that the report would conclude that child custody orders were perfectly fine within the state.
However, the report was hard-hitting in convicting the inequality of child custody orders within the state. The statics were dim, the results compelling.
Anti-shared parenting advocates were quick to point out that domestic violence is an important factor in decreasing the role of the father, or that conflict between couples factored into the decisions.
However, domestic violence is a factor in only 5.9 percent of divorces and extreme conflict is only present in 12 percent of cases. These “reasons” for decreasing the role of the father are easily debunked.
If courts really are looking out for the best interest of the child, then it is clear that joint custody is beneficial for the child. Statistics show that children with two active parents do better in school, and are less likely to be involved in criminal activity.
In our modern time, judges need to understand that fathers are essential for children, that awarding sole custody to the mother is a relic of the past, and that Legislative Bill 22 must be passed.