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Children benefit from shared child custody, study says

Divorce is a complicated matter for most families, both legally and emotionally. Nebraska parents often express serious concern about their children's well-being during the process. A recent study indicates that parents can use 50/50 child custody arrangements to help support their children during divorce and after.

It is no secret that most custody plans result in mothers being awarded full physical custody. More than 80 percent of child custody arrangements that are court-ordered default to the mother taking on sole physical custody. This is often justified by judges' reasonings that divorcing parents will cause too much conflict around their children and force them into conflicts over loyalty.

However, researchers claim that judges overestimate the role that conflict plays in custody arrangements and that it should be thrown out as a determining factor. What one researcher found was that isolating a child from one of the parents caused far more harm than being exposed to minor conflict, which she pointed out children of married parents also deal with. Her study also demonstrated that children who were part of shared custody arrangements in which they had equal access to both parents performed better in school and had more optimistic views of their future.

Instead of declaring one parent the winner of a child custody plan and the other the loser, it can be helpful to consider the impact of a shared custody arrangement. However, as no two families in Nebraska are the same, custody plans should focus around what is best for each child and their parents. While most divorcing parents can reach an agreeable plan on their own or under the careful guidance of a third-party mediator, others find that going before a judge can be helpful in achieving an arrangement that best benefits the child.

Source: readingeagle.com, "New research supports shared custody for children in divorce", Gail Rosenblum, Sept. 18, 2017

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