When Kids Need to Know Bad Things About a Parent
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CR14 - The Primary Parent Presumption: Primarily Meaningless

The proposal to replace the best interests of the child standard in custody disputes with a preference for the primary parent has been gaining increasing support among legal and mental health professionals. This brief chapter, from a book published by the American Bar Association (based on a 1993 speech), critically appraises this proposal and finds it markedly flawed. Research demonstrates that the parent who has provided more of the daily care of the children during the marriage is not necessarily better able to raise the children as a single parent. In addition, we have no grounds for designating one parent's contribution primary and the other parent's contribution secondary. Dr. Warshak concludes that the primary parent concept is misguided and fundamentally meaningless.

CR14, chapter

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