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Study claims joint custody may be best for kids, long-term

When Farmington Hills parents decide to terminate their marriage, the court may award sole physical custody or joint physical custody depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Although parents may believe that they have the best interests of their children in mind when fighting for sole custody, it can be hard to discern what is really beneficial for the child. A study published by the American Psychological Association found that children who are able to spend time with both parents may be better off than those who are kept in sole physical custody.

Researchers evaluated children who were placed in both sole custody and joint custody and found that those who spent ample amounts of time with both their mother and father had a higher self-esteem and overall better relationships with their families. Furthermore, these children had fewer emotional and behavior issues and did better at school than children who grew up in the primary care of one parent. During the study, 814 children in joint-custody living situations and 1,846 children in sole-custody homes were evaluated. Researchers found that parents who share custody of the children often have better relationships with one another and less conflict when it comes to raising the children. This was found to play a role in the child’s emotional wellbeing also.

When a judge places a child in sole custody, the non-custodial parent generally has visitation on Wednesday evenings and every other weekend. In some cases, the child may feel as though they aren’t able to spend enough time with that parent. 

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