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Research shows that shared custody is preferable for children

Florida favors shared custody for children following divorce and research supports that shared custody is best for children following a divorce. According to research, having both parents involved in their lives significantly increases the likelihood that a child will have a positive and healthy future following divorce. The professor who conducted the research noted that shared parenting, or shared custody, should be the norm even for young children.

Yet in 80 percent of court-ordered custody cases, the mother is awarded full physical custody of the child. Because of the understandable conflict between the parents during divorce, traditional wisdom has favored full physical for the mother and allowing the father to parent one night a week and every other weekend. The study examined these notions and found that most conflict subsides within several years of separation.

The study also found that the relationship the child has with both its mother and father was more important than other factors that might have an impact on childhood. The overall message is that shared parenting is best for children. When determining child custody, the court will always seek to achieve a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. While there are different child custody arrangements possible, shared custody is preferred in Florida whenever feasible.

Child custody can be a stressful topic during divorce and place strain on the couple and they seek to develop a child custody plan. Family law resources are available to help guide parents which is why it is important for them to be familiar with those resources and to help remain focused on the best interests of the child.

Source: Grand Haven Tribune, "New research supports shared custody for children in divorce," Gail Rosenblum, Sept. 7, 2017

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