Establishing a child custody arrangement can be challenging for divorcing parents. In Florida, shared custody child custody arrangements are preferred. Recent research supports that shared custody child custody arrangements are best for children. A recent study revealed that having a strong relationship with both parents has the strongest impact on the likelihood that the child’s future will be healthy and happy following divorce.

In greater than 80 percent of court-ordered child custody cases, the mother is awarded full physical custody. Research shows, however, that a strong relationship with both parents has the strongest impact on a positive future for children following divorce. Traditionally, a focus has been on conflict that typically accompanies divorce which has resulted in primary custody for mothers and visitation for fathers once a week or every other weekend.

The professor leading the study noted that the role of conflict has been overstated and poorly defined and that the focus should be on children having a strong relationship with both parents. One medical expert noted that children who have a positive relationship with both parents and have a shared custody arrangement do better in school, use drugs less, haver fewer teen pregnancies and have greater optimism for the future. In Florida, different child custody arrangements, including sole custody or joint custody, are possible depending on the circumstances.

Whenever child custody is being considered, the best interests of the child remains the focus of the family law court and process and is what the parents should also remain focused on. Because child custody is a divorce-related concern that can sometimes grow heated, and may be challenging, it is helpful for parents to understand how the family law process helps resolve child custody concerns.

Source: Grand Haven Tribune, “New research supports shared custody for children in divorce,” Gail Rosenblum, Sept. 7, 2017