Texas child advocates may have noticed that changes in how family law courts apply the venerable "best interests of the child" litmus test for deciding whom that child will live with have unexpectedly given a boost for to single-dad households. The concept of shared parenting is becoming the go-to paradigm for awarding child custody. Some say the rise of shared parenting is at least partially behind more single fathers raising their children.
In Texas and all around the country, family law judges have to make hard decisions on what is in the best interests of children affected by divorce. Some of the most difficult may be those child custody situations in which a custodial parent is seeking to relocate along with the children. Whether it is an in-state move or one that would take a child halfway around the globe, move-away cases often result in one parent or the other suffering anguish.
Texas fans of Reese Witherspoon and her ex-husband Ryan Philippe probably know that they were married for seven years, had two kids and then divorced in 2007. In recent years, the couple lost quite a bit of money on their property sales. She recently sold her Ojai ranch at a big loss, which she had bought in 2008 for $5.8 million and ended up selling for $4,983,500, losing $816,500. Phillippe lost $1,175,000 on the March 2013 sale of his Sunset Strip mansion.
A shift toward equal custody time for both parents is in the works as shared parenting advocates in Texas and around the country are encouraging several states to consider legislation that would change what some feel are outmoded laws granting custody to one parent, usually the mother. In 2013, Arkansas enacted a law that encourages "approximate and reasonable equal division of time" between parents in child custody determinations, in the process overturning previous court decisions that tended to hold shared custody in disfavor. Lawmakers in Minnesota and Florida had also passed similar measures, only to see them vetoed by the governors of those states.