Parents have a lot to figure out, including scheduling around school and extracurricular activities, planning meals, and figuring out how to make ends meet. Yet, as stressful as this may seem, it can pale in comparison to the thought of losing custody of a child. But many Californians find themselves in this position. Whether as a result of a nasty divorce or an unmarried couple's inability to agree, a child custody dispute can become extremely heated. However, all parties, and the judge should be keeping an eye on what further the best interests of the child.
A recent study may have helped shed some light on what child custody arrangement benefits kids the most. The study, which analyzed more than 3,500 preschoolers, found that those who are a part of a joint physical custody arrangement suffer from less psychological symptoms than those who are a part of a different custody arrangement. These children also exhibited fewer behavioral issues. Some may find this study surprising, as some experts had previously assumed that shared time with a young child would disrupt his or her stability, thereby causing damage.
Of course, not every child custody fight is the same. For example, a dispute that arises over which school each parent will put the child into, while important, may not hold as much weight compared to concerns over one parent's perpetration of physical abuse. Therefore, joint custody arrangements are not right for everyone.
To determine what custody arrangement works best for a child and his or her parents, it may be appropriate to contact an experienced family law attorney. As we have discussed previously on this blog, there are a number of factors that are taken into consideration when a judge makes a custody decision, and failing to carefully analyze and argue these points could lead to an unwanted outcome.