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Child custody versus shared custody

Parents are still the greatest influence when it comes to the happy and healthy future of a child. During divorce and child custody in California, experts agree that both parents should play an equal part. The norm for children, regardless of their age, should be shared parenting in a child custody agreement. As strange as it may seem in 2017, some say court systems still lean toward the mother for physical custody 80 percent of the time.

The long-time belief is that conflict between two divorcing parties will cause undue stress upon the children. Judges allegedly believed that sharing custody places children in an awkward position. Their thoughts may be to avoid the pressure of loyalty struggles and choosing sides with one parent versus the other. To avoid these conflicts, the children are placed in the mother's household with the father having limited visitation.

A new study re-examines this. Experts agree that conflict after separation subsides as time goes on, while child custody orders can last throughout childhood. Studies show that the relationship between parents and children is more important than that of their relationship with each other. To move forward, professionals suggest that the focus be on programs and guidelines. Strengthening the parent and child relationship while reducing exposure to negativity is most important to all involved.

No one loses in a child custody case. Both parties remain parents, and children in shared custody often do much better in every aspect. Taking the time to consult with an attorney who has the expert understanding of child custody laws in California may help determine if shared parenting is the best decision.

Source: nwaonline.com, "New research supports shared custody for children in divorce", Gail Rosenblum, Oct. 4, 2017

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