Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
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New studies say shared custody may be best

California parents who decide to divorce are often concerned that the strain of a divorce could hurt their relationships with their children, and this is one reason while child custody disputes can feel like a war. But a new study shows that it is in the children's best interest to split their time between parents.

As the Boston Herald reports, currently in the United States, mothers are granted primary custody about 80 percent of the time. Often times this was to provide a single stable environment for the children and to keep them out of any fights between their parents. Yet a study recently published by a researcher from Wake Forest University found that the effect of conflict on children in divorce is frequently given too much weight. In fact, the study found that children who can split their time between parents and maintain a strong relationship with both their mother and father are often not significantly affected by disputes between their parents.

Another study had similar findings. Science Daily reports that Swedish researchers found that young children in joint custody arrangements had fewer issues than those raised either entirely or primarily by one parent. The study had parents and teachers of children between the ages of three and five fill in the "Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire" survey to account for any issues a child may be dealing with. Both parents and teachers reported more problems for children who lived mostly or only with one parent. Parents of children in both joint custody situations and parents who remained together reported a similar amount of issues for their children, but teachers reported that children from intact families had the fewest behvaioral or psychological issues.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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