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While vital, child support may take back seat to shared custody

Ever since divorce became an option for unhappy parents, the courts seem to have lagged behind in one important aspect. While many parents may consider child support to be the biggest concern when it comes to parenting decisions, changing how the family courts determine custody has been taking priority. While California has yet to update its policy on shared custody, many states are leaning that way.

Recently, a researcher set out to determine how children adjust to the relationship between divorced parents. She set certain parameters in order to give her data structure and try to answer the question of how conflict between parents affect the children involved. Interestingly enough, the results tend to point out that the most important factor in how well children adjust is the relationship they have with each parent -- regardless of any conflict between the adults.

In spite of this recent study and several that have been conducted in the recent past, the majority of the courts still order custody be awarded to mothers in approximately 80 percent of the cases. Several states have recently taken steps to ensure that both parents are granted equal time, as much as the circumstances allow. The exceptions would be for situations where a parent poses a risk to a child's well-being.

Children appear to do best in situations where they are permitted to have regular interaction with both parents. While the research indicates that hostility between parents is not detrimental in the long term, professionals recommend that parents make every effort to avoid bringing children into the conflict directly. California families who are struggling to determine with whom the children should spend the majority of their time (or which parent will pay child support) can seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney to help resolve these matters in the manner that best suits a family's particular needs. 

Source:, "Rosenblum: New research supports shared custody for children in divorce", Gail Rosenblum, Aug. 30, 2017

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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