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Child custody: Shared custody arrangement may be best

Parents in New Hampshire are, understandably, concerned about how their divorce will impact their children. As a result, a great deal of thought and discussion is often put into how child custody will be divided. Recent research may help ease some of the concerns about a relatively common custody arrangement.

One adolescent and educational psychology professor argues that shared parenting should always be the preferred option for children following a divorce, assuming there are no concerns of abuse or negligence. However, some statistics show that this is not usually the case. In fact, mothers are reportedly given full physical custody in 80 percent of cases. Some believe this trend is due to the fact that many judges believe that conflict between parents will have a detrimental impact.

To help understand whether such is the case, one researcher recently revealed over 40 previously published studies. Her results indicate that children in shared custody arrangements often had better outcomes in regard to school success, teen pregnancy rates, drug use and optimism for the future. In fact, some claim that the effect of conflict is greatly exaggerated and even then, conflict reduces significantly in the years following a separation.

Parents in New Hampshire must continue to work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of their children even though they are no longer romantically involved. Even when parents are able to come to a child custody agreement, having an attorney with experience with family law review the document may be beneficial. Once put into effect, it may be difficult to modify.

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

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