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Researchers detail effects of child custody on kids

In Illinois and all across the country, there seems to be no end to the discussion regarding child custody and which type of arrangement is likely to be the most beneficial to children. Now, some researchers believe that their research might reverse some people's opinions on the matter. As it turns out, one child custody arrangement that was once thought to be too stressful for kids may actually be beneficial.

Historically, child custody arrangements typically favored primary custody being awarded to one parent and visitation to the other. However, one concern voiced over this type of arrangement is that children may be placed under unnecessary stress by switching back and forth between their parents' homes. In all actuality, experts who looked into the matter found that the children they studied actually fared better when they had equal access to both parents.

As part of the study, children living in two-parent homes were compared with children whose parents shared custody, as well as with children living primarily with one parent. Information from approximately 150,000 kids was examined in detail to determine the level of stress and other psychosomatic health issues from which they were suffering. As it turns out, the children whose parents shared custody suffered from far fewer mental health issues and stress-related problems than their peers who lived with only one parent.

The results of this and other similar studies may continue to influence the family court system in Illinois and elsewhere. However, regardless of these and other findings, child custody does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. While studies such as this can reveal valuable information about the system as a whole, it is still important for divorcing parents to remember that their situation is unique and may require a child custody plan tailored to fit their needs.

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

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