Centuori & Associates, PC

When Arizona parents are moving toward divorce, the top priority is usually how to structure a custody arrangement that is best for their shared children. This can be a challenge, because while parents have access to a huge body of research on various child custody options, there is no consensus among social scientists as to which choice is best for kids. An example lies in the debate surrounding whether children fare better when they divide time equally between both parents, versus a more traditional every-other-weekend visitation schedule.

In recent years, shared parenting has become a central focus in both social science and the courts. Shared custody is achieved when both parents play active roles in the lives of their children, with the kids transitioning between two households on a regular basis. This approach has received criticism for being stressful to children, who may have difficulty attaining a sense of stability when they are constantly moving from one living scenario to another.

However, a recent study asserts that kids who live within shared parenting arrangements actually experience lower levels of psychosomatic problems than those who live primarily with just one parent. Researchers asked children in 6th and 9th grade about their experience of headaches, stomach problems, sleep troubles, lack of concentration and loss of appetite. Those who lived in intact families reported the lowest levels of such problems, and kids who live with just one parent reported the highest levels.

Because the existing body of research is far from conclusive, Arizona parents must look closer to home when trying to create the best possible child custody arrangement. For parents who are able to attain a high degree of cooperation, shared custody could be a great fit. However, if contention, geographical distance, work responsibilities or other factors make shared custody seem impossible, a different solution should be sought.

Source: Time, "This Divorce Arrangement Stresses Kids Out Most", Mandy Oaklander, April 27, 2015

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