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Child custody a factor in lowering divorce rate

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The national divorce rate has been steadily declining since the 1980s when it peaked at 50 percent. Today, the rate sits at slightly over 40 percent in Texas and nationwide. Interestingly, however, couples sharing child custody are less likely to divorce overall.

According to marriage counselors, many factors can influence the quality of a marriage: married Texas residents will recognize money and household responsibility as being two of the most fundamental. And while child custody adds unique additional pressures to a married couple, being on the same parenthood page can actually help preserve a marriage in crisis. In fact, shared values and parenting techniques are among the most important factors in determining if a marriage with children involved will succeed or fail.

Many counselors agree that a father's involvement in child custody responsibilities is of paramount importance not only to child development, but also to maintaining a healthy married life. Involved fathers feel less like a "third wheel," and by taking an active role with their children they are also connecting emotionally with their wives. Sharing responsibility helps to promote shared values and emotional investment.

Of course, problems still exist even for the most family-centered couples. The responsibility of child custody takes away from "couple time," and the proliferation of mobile technology like laptops and smart phones provide even more distractions. Married couples in the modern era face many challenges, and despite the fact that divorce rates in Texas and beyond have continued to drop over the years, about half of all marriages still end in divorce. It is important to work toward a successful marriage; but it can be equally important, for the sake of the children involved, to be knowledgeable about the rights and responsibilities connected with divorce should a marriage prove beyond saving.

Source: The Vindicator, "U.S. divorce rate continues downward trend," John Michaelson, March 26, 2013

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