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Study finds joint child custody may be less stressful for kids

Typically, the most heated debate among divorcing couples is the issue of child custody. Virginia parents want what is best for their children, but in some divorce cases, each parent may feel as if he or she should have sole custody. However, a recent study has shown that children who are raised in joint custody situations may be less stressed than those who are raised in those involving sole child custody.

The best custody option has been always been a debate amongst psychologists. Many individuals believe that constantly moving the child around to two different houses may cause a lot of stress and social anxiety. However, the current study found that having contact with both parents led to more engaged parenting for both parents, which ultimately led to less stress for their children. Simply having contact with each parent seemed to outweigh any stress incurred from living in two different houses.

The study examined around 150,000 children who were either 12 or 15 years of age, meaning that they were in either 6th or 9th grade. The study observed their psychosomatic health problems, which included depression, sleep problems and loss of concentration. While the children who lived in nuclear families reported the least amount of psychosomatic issues, the study also found that children who lived in a joint custody situation had fewer problems than children in sole custody situations.

For parents going through a divorce in Virginia, this research seems to indicate that joint child custody may be the most beneficial situation for many children. However, each family's situation is different, and joint custody may not be the best option in every instance. There are many child custody options available to separating parents, and help is available in our state to parents who wish to learn more while focused on maintaining the best interests of their child or children.

Source: Time, "This Divorce Arrangement Stresses Kids Out Most", Mandy Oaklander, April 27, 2015

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