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Child custody myths are dispelled with research


For many individuals, making a plan to share parenting time with an ex can be a challenge. Child custody has its share of myths that some individuals cling to because of bias, self-interest or gender politics. In Texas, when making decisions about parenting, judges strive to act based upon the best interests of the child. Recent research documents that shared parenting, in general, supports the best interests of a child. 

Some of the common misperceptions are that the child will be disrupted by going back and forth between the parent’s homes, that the children have one primary attachment figure, that children do better with sole custody in high-conflict situations and that shared parenting only works for cooperative parents. The research shows that these claims are not supported by evidence from adult children of divorce and by studies. Only in some types of cases, such as in cases of abuse, neglect or lack of prior relationship, should sole custody be preferred. 

For most, some form of joint custody is ideal for children’s well-being. Adult children reported a willingness to tolerate moving back and forth between homes in order to have a relationship with both parents. Research also shows that even in high-conflict situations, a relationship with both parents helps to diminish the harmful impact of the conflict. It is observed that even for very young children and infants, they form a unique and individual bond with both parents. 

In Texas, child custody decisions are often left to the judges if the parents can’t come to an agreement. Luckily, individuals have the opportunity to try to make a plan that works for both parents. If an individual finds that he or she needs help in creating a child custody plan, he or she may wish to consult with an experienced family law attorney in the area. 

Source: bransontrilakesnews.comm, “Avoid the woozles and zombies of shared parenting”, Michelle Jones, Feb. 13, 2018

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