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Studies: Joint parenting may be better for children

When parents in Michigan and across the U.S. decide to separate or file for divorce, there are a myriad of factors that must be considered. One of the most important decisions is custody and parenting time. It is easy to overlook the needs of the children involved in the situation when there are so many other things going on. While many parents are choosing sole custody arrangements in hope of providing a stable environment for their children, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Family Psychology reported that joint custody may be the best choice for several reasons.

The study looked closely at children who were raised in sole-custody and joint-custody living arrangements, as well as those who were brought up in intact families. Researchers found that kids who spent a significant amount of time with both their mother and father had a higher self-esteem, higher school performance and fewer emotional and behavioral problems.

Another study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reported that kids in shared custody situations experience less stress than those who do not spend time with both parents. Kids who lived primarily with one parent had more incidents of headaches, sleep problems, sadness and difficulty concentrating.

The truth may lie in the belief that children need the influence from both their mother and father in their life. While mothers often provide nurturing and caring feelings toward a child, the father may instill a sense of safety, allowing kids to try new things and branch out from their safe zone.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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