Before a divorce, parents usually have meaningful interactions with their children daily. However, child custody arrangements that prioritize sole physical custody do not always reflect the crucial importance of these interactions. No two families in Texas are alike, and for some sole custody might indeed be the most appropriate choice, but recent research indicates that plenty of children would be best served by joint custody arrangements.
It was once believed that strife between divorced parents would put too much pressure on a child if joint custody was awarded. A recent study refutes this belief and even insinuates that part of the conflict is exaggerated or purposely provoked as divorcing parents duke it out to win sole access to their children. Even in situations where this is not the case and the high levels of conflict are real, the study found that it quickly subsides in the years following a divorce.
Researchers also found evidence to support the claim that shared custody agreements produce more emotionally balanced children who perform better in school. They also suggested to focus on children’s relationships with their parents rather than declaring one parent to be the winner and the other the loser, who is then only privy to visitations a handful of times per month. This is especially true when considering the study’s results, which found that maintaining relationships with both parents is far more significant than being occasionally exposed to conflict.
It can be easy to fall into the mindset of doing things the way they have always been done. Since no two families in Texas are alike, it is especially important to consider the implications of child custody arrangements during family law matters. Although it can be a stressful period of time, arrangements that benefit both the children and parents can usually be reached under the careful guidance of an experienced family law counsel.
Source: startribune.com, “Rosenblum: New research supports shared custody for children in divorce“, Gail Rosenblum, Sept. 3, 2017