Shared ParentingAccording to a 2014 study released by the National Parents Organization, sole custody is granted to one parent in approximately 80 percent of child custody cases. In most of these matters, the parent who receives custody is the mother.

The study -- referred to as the Shared Parenting Report Card -- revealed that many states are discouraging shared parenting; and, through family court rulings, states are denying children the ability to spend equal time with both parents. The study rated each state with a grade from A to F to reveal which states support shared parenting the most and which states do not.

Shared parenting is a child custody arrangement where both parents share equal time with their children following a divorce or separation. Shared parenting allows children to enjoy the full engagement of both parents in their lives equally.

Experts Agree That Shared Custody Is Best

The chair and founder of the National Parents Organization, Dr. Ned Holstein, said that, in 2014, three well-respected studies of child development research concluded that shared parenting is the superior parenting model for divorced couples. The doctor further said that his organization's report reveals many states are ignoring this modern view by continuing to enforce antiquated child custody precedents that should have died the 1950s.

A doctor who helped lead the study said that the majority of states earned between C's and D's on their grading scale. He said that he hoped the new research about parenting models and the results of the National Parents Organization study will encourage states to bring their child custody laws up to speed.

When Parents Cannot Agree

Parents who can agree to child custody arrangements out of court have the best chances of getting what they want because they will remain in control of the decision making process. That said, not all parents can agree to the terms of their child custody arrangements, no matter how hard they try. In such cases, where it is necessary to litigate the matter in court, parents will want to take their cases seriously. As the National Parents Organization study indicates, shared child custody is not yet the legal norm. Therefore, parents engaged in a child custody battle will want to retain the best family law counsel available to represent them during their court proceedings.