Federally funded study hopes to make child custody less of a battle

Parents who divorce often fight their most emotional battle over child custody issues. Who gets to spend the weekends with children? Who should serve as the primary caregiver? Who gets the children over the holidays?

These are all difficult questions. Fortunately, Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions is now trying to help divorced parents settle them.

According to reports, researchers at the school are participating in a $400,000 federally funded project designed to study how to encourage parents to work together so that their children can spend enough time with each of them following a divorce.

Specifically, the primary goal of the project — which will last four years — is to develop a “best practices” list for establishing the amount of time children spend with each parent (i.e., parenting time orders). Participating in the project are family support agencies, judges and even policy experts who are involved in parental visitation issues.

However, this program isn’t aimed at all divorcing parents, meaning it won’t create guidelines for divorces in which there has been evidence of violence. Furthermore, parents must agree to participate in the program.

Project officials have also created a set of guidelines to measure whether the program actually succeeds. This will include examining such variables as the number of parenting-time orders that the court sets up and the costs associated with these.

The hope, of course, is to eventually take the program nationally, where it can be used to help make sure that children spend enough time with both parents post-divorce.

The program, though, won’t work unless both parents cooperate following their divorce, something that is always in the best interests of their children.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child custody or visitation, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Athens Messenger, “Ohio University taking part in $400,000 parental visitation initiative,” Oct. 18, 2012