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Child custody issues: Shared parenting good for children

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Going through a divorce can be a stressful experience for Texas residents and others around the country. Tension may run even higher when issues of child custody are addressed in the proceedings. Traditionally, mothers were granted custody, while fathers had visitation rights. However, this trend is rapidly changing, and many experts applaud the shift in thinking.

Researchers began studying divorce and custody trends in the 1970s with the goal of helping children cope with the changes in family situations. At that time, fathers usually saw their children only as determined by the mothers. Yet studies showed that most children would benefit from having both parents actively involved in their lives.

Even though many fathers are now often granted visits every other weekend, experts contend that this arrangement diminishes the paternal role. In fact, the word visit makes the father appear to be a more distant relative rather than someone involved in everyday life. Very few families at the time of the initial studies practiced shared custody. Fortunately, researchers now have observed over 50 joint physical custody arrangements.

Studies reveal that children who spend significant time with both their mother and father have stronger relationships with each parent. Experts report that the children perform better in school and in social situations. In addition, they are less prone to depression and anxiety. Furthermore, the observations revealed that there was less drug and alcohol use among children in shared custody situations.

While child custody issues in a divorce may prove to be contentious, it is important to understand one's options in the proceedings. It would be beneficial to have the guidance of a knowledgeable Texas divorce lawyer. An experienced attorney can help a client navigate the legal process and work toward achieving the best outcome possible in his or her case.

Source: statnews.com, "After divorce, shared parenting is best for children's health, development", Richard A. Warshak, May 26, 2017

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