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Custody arrangements have evolved over the years, going from mother-centric custody to a preference for joint custody.  Research still emerging supports this continuing trend of ensuring both parents have a strong relationship with their children post-divorce.  Our Texas child custody lawyers discuss the research surrounding custody arrangements and how you can create a custody schedule that best supports the well-being of your child after divorce.  

Children Benefit From Time With Both Parents

Research being shared at the International Conference on Shared Parenting has found that children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent, rather than living with one parent and visiting the other, have better relationships with both parents and overall do better academically, socially, and psychologically.  Joint custody arrangements lead to children with better grades and a stronger moral compass, as they are less likely to smoke or drink, and less susceptible to anxiety.  

This research has led many to believe that shared parenting should be the first goal when entering into a custody arrangement.  Shared parenting can come in many variations, with some parents preferring a week on, week off schedule, while others rotate days during the week or on the weekends.  No matter how it is structured, the goal of a shared parenting plan is to ensure both parents have time with the child.  

In certain circumstances, however, shared parenting is not possible or recommended.  When domestic abuse is an issue or one of the parents suffers from a mental disorder, addiction, or is in jail, shared parenting could have negative effects on the child.  Even further, at times physical custody and legal custody should be decided separately. If, for instance, you have concerns about decisions your ex-spouse could make, you might seek shared physical custody but sole legal custody.  

Every custody situation is unique and your Texas child custody lawyer should closely examine the facts of your case to assist you in developing the best custody arrangement for your child and your family.  With care and skilled legal assistance, your children can flourish post-divorce.