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Shared custody may be less stressful for children

Arizona parents who are seeking a divorce may be interested in the results of a study which looked at post-divorce stress in children. The researchers' conclusions may go against the common wisdom in child custody disputes.

There are many divorce legal issues that couples are concerned with at the end of a marriage. One of the most important, however, deals with child custody. Many parents believe that having a child split their time between living with each parent can be stressful on the child. However, research shows that this commonly held notion might not be true. A study out of the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Sweden looked at psychosomatic illness symptoms in over 150,000 children in either 6th or 9th grade. These symptoms include stomachaches, headaches and feelings of sadness.

While one might expect that the 19 percent of children studied who shared their time between both parents would have the highest number of symptoms, this was not true. The children who stayed primarily with one parent, numbering 13 percent of the total studied, had a higher rate of psychosomatic problems than their shared-custody counterparts. The researchers believe that this is because the need for contact with both parents outweighs the perceived need for a single and stable home.

Determining what is in the best interests of the child when discussing custody can be difficult without the assistance of an attorney. In a situation where the parents are able to come together to find solutions, a collaborative divorce may be appropriate. This allows the former couple to minimize the time and money spent on the divorce while coming to a fair solution for everyone involved.

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

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