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Shared parenting may be best for child development

When children are involved, divorce is rarely easy. Custody battles can destroy families for years to come after a divorce is final, leaving the children at the heart of the conflict with a great deal of unnecessary pain and, in many cases, uneven maturation. If you and your spouse are approaching divorce and want to protect your children from harm, you need to think long and hard about a custody arrangement that is truly best for them.

In many custody disputes, it is difficult to approach the idea of shared parenting. Divorcing couples rarely enjoy the idea of remaining more involved than absolutely necessary with their soon-to-be exes, but according to recent research, shared parenting is often far better for children's development.

This is especially true for young children. Many custody arrangements give primary custody to mothers for the first several years of the child's life and prohibit the child from staying over nights at the father's home. However, many researchers oppose this idea and suggest that it is a frivolous restriction — after all, a child may sleep at daycare or may take a nap while visiting the father. A restriction against staying over nights at one parent's house puts an unnecessary burden on many parents and may actually place the child at a developmental disadvantage.

If you worry that your custody negotiation is not keeping your child's true best interests at heart, do not hesitate to seek strong legal counsel from an experienced attorney. With proper legal guidance, you can rest assured that your child's best interests remain at the heart of all the negotiations during this difficult season.

Source: STAT, "After divorce, shared parenting is best for children’s health and development," Richard A Warshak, May 26, 2017

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