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Research suggests shared parenting post-divorce is ideal

When parents in California divorce, they likely face many difficult decisions. And while they are required to work through the difficult divorce issues, divorcing parents may find it challenging to reach a child custody agreement that works for everyone involved. In a high-conflict divorce, parents likely want to take steps to protect their children from this hostile environment. However, this can have unfortunate results.

Current research suggests that in order to increase the likelihood of a child's happy and healthy future, two factors are important to include in the child's life. This is their mother and their father. Thus, the most ideal child custody situation for a child post-divorce is shared custody.

Researchers claim that some courts are willing to award one parent primary custody during a high-conflict divorce. This idea is to prevent any negative impact or stress on the child. However, current studies show that even the most hostile divorces are likely to only maintain conflict for a few years. And because child custody lasts a childhood and conflicts are found to last much less, it is important to consider the overall needs of a child versus the current temporary situation.

Although child custody arrangements can be revisited post-divorce, developing a proper parenting plan initially is imperative to reduce the emotional hardships the process could cause a child. Because it is important to have both parents present in a child's life, divorcing parents need to discover what this balance looks like.

Much like every family is different, every divorce is different as well. Thus, divorcing parents have different obstacles to conquer. With regards to issues surrounding child custody, parents should take the time to understand their parental rights and how best to protect them during dissolution and post-divorce.

Source: StarTribune, "New research supports shared custody for children in divorce," Gail Rosenblum, Sept. 3, 2017

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