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Which child custody arrangement is best?

In life, there are many options. In child custody arrangements, there are many options as well. Physical, legal, sole and joint custody are ways to share the care and support of a child, and each type has its own special cases and variations. In the past, courts have leaned toward granting sole physical custody to mothers and saddling fathers with hefty child support payments. Parents in Texas may be thinking: is this the best way, or is another method of shared parenting actually better?

The best way to evaluate a hypothesis is through the scientific process. Recently, researchers in Sweden did just that when they collected data from thousands of families in order to study the psychology of children in various parental arrangements. The researchers looked at 3,369 children in nuclear families, 136 children in joint physical custody, 79 children who live mostly with a single parent and 72 children living solely with one parent. 

The results of their analysis, which took a look at behavioral reports from parents and teachers of the children, showed that children who were from a shared arrangement had lower levels of psychological stress. The child was able to have a stronger relationship with each parent, which the researchers believe contributes to healthy coping mechanisms. Although cultural differences may exist, since the study was completed in Sweden, one could infer that the same holds true for children in Texas. 

Divorce is a difficult process for families, and deciding how to share the parenting can be equally tough. Each type of child custody has its place. When going through a divorce, a person may want help and information. A knowledgeable family law attorney can be a good resource for individuals with custody questions. 

Source:, "Research Says This Is The Best Child Custody Agreement For Divorced Parents, Although It May Be Easier Said Than Done", Korey Lane, Sept. 7, 2017

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