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Joint custody may be best for children, studies say

Divorcing with children in the picture can be one of the most complicated situations to face any parent. Connecticut residents familiar with this difficult situation can agree that custody arrangements are among the most stressful to negotiate in a divorce. While many parents believe staying with one "custodial" parent might be in the best interests of their children, some studies are suggesting joint custody might be preferable. This only speaks to the importance of parents seeking appropriate support in handling custody cases for the best interests of the child or children in question. 

In a recent study concerning 150,000 children living in divorce situations, aged 12 and 15, it was concluded that children who spent time with both parents fared much better than their single-residence counterparts. The study, conducted by the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, went on to find that children who lived with only one parent full-time reported greater incidences of psychosomatic health issues, including difficulty concentrating and other stress-related ailments. Children who spent equal time with both parents fared differently. 

The study also noted that children who went "back and forth" between parents, widely considered a destabilizing move by many experts, actually performed better across the board. Researchers said this was indicative of the importance of keeping a strong relationship with both parents in the wake of a divorce. The alternative, they say, is losing a key relationship in their lives – which has demonstrably negative effects. 

Obviously, a joint custody situation will not work for every family experiencing divorce. However, the results of this study underscore the importance of Connecticut parents seeking support in determining the best course of action for their children during and after a divorce. Custody can be a demanding and challenging issue, but with help, parents can do right by their kids -- whatever that might mean in their individual framework. 

Source: goodhousekeeping.com, "Worst Divorce Arrangement for Kids", Samantha Toscano, May 1, 2015

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