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New child custody study supports shared custody

One of the biggest questions for Arizona parents after divorce is the custody of their children. When it comes to post-divorce child custody, statistics show that mothers are awarded full custody in almost 80 percent of cases. One reason for this is the belief that conflict between parents may cause the greatest amounts of stress for children. Historically, children have often placed in the mother's home for stability while allowing the father visitation rights. However, new research suggests that parental conflict plays a much smaller role than previously thought when it comes to the health and happiness of children.

According to research, the role conflict between parents should not be the determining factor of child custody. Studies have shown that conflict is often exaggerated and is not reliable because parents may sometimes fabricate conflict to win custody. However, when it comes to the well-being of children, new findings say that the quality of the parent-child relationship with both parents matters more than the parents' actual relationship with each other.

After a divorce, the love and guidance of parents have a significant impact on a child's happiness and state of mind. Other tips for separating parents include interacting with the children on a regular basis, keeping adult issues away from the children and talking face to face with children about difficult topics such as relationships or body image. However, the most important piece of advice for parents is to always make their children feel loved.

These new studies are showing that cooperative co-parenting relationships benefit children the most after parents decide to end their marriage. Some states, such as Arizona, are even passing new legislation to support and facilitate shared parenting. Arizona residents who have questions about child custody could benefit by seeking the services of experienced legal representative. An understanding of the custody laws could benefit both parents and children.

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

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