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Joint custody more beneficial for children than sole custody

Some divorcing parents in Kentucky have valid reasons for filing for sole custody, such as concerns about a child's well-being when with the other parent. Other times, a person may seek full custody because of a belief that it's best for young children to spend overnights with mothers instead of fathers. However, research on this topic suggests it's better for children to be part of a joint custody family instead of a single parent home situation.

After a review of research on various parenting arrangements, one psychologist published a study concluding shared parenting should be the preferred option following a divorce. He also noted that concerns about younger children spending overnights with a father rather than a mother are unfounded and not in line with what's currently known about child development. More than a hundred experts agree with his conclusions.

Another researcher compared outcomes of children in various parenting situations and came to a similar conclusion about the benefits of joint physical custody (JPC). She discovered that kids in JPC arrangements tend to have better academic achievement, fewer emotional health problems and stress-related illnesses and healthier relationships with their parents and other people in their lives.

Since mothers are often awarded sole custody, such arrangements tend to affect relationships between children and fathers, sometimes to the point where the damage can't be easily repaired. There are also instances of noncustodial parents gradually becoming less involved. Sometimes this is due to the emotional strain of having limited contact with a child.

Even if one parent is insisting on sole custody, a lawyer may be able to present a valid argument for joint physical custody. For times when it's not possible to establish a JPC arrangement, a lower-earning custodial spouse may seek support from his or her ex. While custody and support are two different issues, problems with payments could create tension that might affect the ability to continue scheduled visitations without issues. Should this be the case, an attorney typically tries to resolve the issue in a mutually acceptable way. Otherwise, it may be necessary to pursue further legal action.

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
130 Dudley Road Suite 150
Edgewood, KY 41017

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