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Does divorce mean a split from the child, too?

The end of a marriage, like many other endings, can be painful. An individual in Florida facing divorce will likely be grieving the loss of the romantic relationship, but is it necessary to grieve the loss of a child, too? Traditionally, courts have tended to award physical custody to one parent or the other -- usually the mother -- since, in the past, the woman was more likely to stay at home and be the person responsible for child care. Fathers were sometimes separated out of a child's life. Family norms have changed, and recent research about custody arrangements shows that a new approach is supported by science. 

A Swedish university and a research institute paired up to investigate the relationship between certain types of custody arrangements and child welfare. The study looked at different types of families, and also analyzed behavioral reports from parents and teachers to gauge the mental health of the children. After analyzing the data of approximately 3,500 families, they found that children from joint custody arrangements tend to do better. 

The research shows that these children have lower stress levels. Although there is a time and a place for every type of custody, in general, a child thrives when he or she is able to have a strong relationship with each parent. Since the study was completed in Sweden, there is potential for the data to be different for Florida families, due to cultural differences. Continued interest in the subject will certainly spur increased research, so perhaps one day, Americans will be able to look at data from their home country. 

Divorce affects the whole family. Generally, parents want to support a child's best interests. It appears that joint custody can be a good option to do so. A parent facing divorce may want some help through such a trying time. One option for help is an experienced family law attorney. 

Source: romper.com, "Research Says This Is The Best Child Custody Agreement For Divorced Parents, Although It May Be Easier Said Than Done", Korey Lane, Sept. 7, 2017

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