> Securing Children's Best Interests While Resisting the Lure of Simple Solutions - January 2015, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage

Richard A. Warshak, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Cente


The best-interest-of-the-child standard for child custody policy and decisions has benefits and hazards, the latter related to the exercise of judicial discretion in custody disputes. This article examines alternatives to the status quo, including the primary parent presumption, the approximation rule, shared parenting, an exact even split of custodial time, sole custody for couples labeled as in high conflict or those with young children, the friendly parent presumption, and decisions that defer to children's stated preferences. Each alternative promises simpler paths to securing children's welfare, but some have more support than others in the social science literature.