In June, Kentucky will become the first state to require a presumption of equally shared parenting in child-custody cases even when one or more parents is opposed. While it's common for states to prefer joint custody when both parents are amenable, Kentucky's presumption will apply even without divorcing parents on board.There are several questions here.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed the measure in April, declaring that judges must presume "that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child" in almost all divorce cases. Last year, Kentucky required the same presumption for temporary child-custody cases while divorce is pending. ...
But even in states with such guidelines, old ideas about the superiority of mothers as caregivers have led to courts favoring maternal custody. Fighting for a presumption of joint custody in law and practice has been a primary goal of the fathers' rights movement. ...
Under the new Kentucky law, judges are still allowed to use their discretion and can decide against joint custody in cases where it's impractical or against the best interest of a child.
In other words, the shift doesn't mean that judges necessarily will grant shared custody to parents in all or most custody cases. It simply says that the state shouldn't automatically consider mothers more fit to raise children (as it did for much of the 20th century) or that fathers have more "ownership" right in children than mothers do (as was common in the era prior to supposed maternal supremacy).
America's current child custody laws "were based on the sexist belief that mothers are better than fathers at raising children," Wake Forest University psychology professor Linda Nielsen told the Post last year. "Well, the research does not support that."
Are moms better caregivers? (Apparently not, according to research.)
Are dads more suited to ownership/authority rights?
Even when parents have shortcomings, are judges able to constructively intervene?
The men's rights activists have argued for this in terms of research, fairness, equality, and judicial determination of the best interest of the child. These arguments sometimes work with liberals who claim to believe in all those things.
And many states have moved closer to shared parenting, because it is a lot easier on everyone involved. It is especially practical when the parents are hostile to each other and do not agree on anything. With equally shared parenting, they don't have to agree, and they can just do their own thing on their own time.
But the big factor here, that no one wants to talk about, is that civilization depends on men being in charge. Putting women in charge of children, or anything else of importance, has never worked on a large scale. Letting moms get child custody has been a grand experiment, and it has been a failure.