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Joint custody best for chldren say new studies

When a Virginia couple decides to get divorced, what will happen to the children is often a primary concern. Since neither parent is normally keen to give up their parenting time, this often becomes a point of contention. Yet new studies show that when it is safe to do so, children who split their time between both children have the best results.

As Science Daily notes, a new study out of Sweden found that even in young children, once believed to suffer from lack of stability, shared custody resulted in fewer issues. The parents and preschool teachers of more than 3,600 children between the ages of 3 and 5 were surveyed to find any psychological or behavioral problems in young children. The study found that both teachers and parents reported more problems for children who were being completely or primarily raised by only one parent. Reports from parents of both children from intact nuclear families and those with joint custody found no difference between the two, however, there were fewer symptoms of problems of children from intact families as reported by the teachers.

The Boston Herald reported that a new study found that shared parenting time provided better outcomes for children than reducing conflict. The researcher from Wake Forest University found that although conflict is assumed to be damaging to a child, it has less effect than a child's relationship with their parents. Children who were able to have strong relationships with both parents had better outcomes, even when their parents had significant conflict between themselves. The researcher noted that while the conflict in the parents' relationship with one another often fades with time, but the custody arrangement normally lasts for an entire childhood.

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