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Joint custody appears to be better for the child's health

There is a established connection between emotional stress and physical complaints known as psychosomatic illnesses. These ailments, which may take forms including loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, feelings of dizziness, nausea and other complaints, are often experienced by New Jersey children whose parents have gone through a divorce. A recent study conducted in Sweden examined approximately 150,000 children in the 6th and 9th grades, seeking correlations between family status and psychosomatic illnesses.

The majority of the children lived in homes with two married parents, while 19 percent lived in a joint custody arrangement with two divorced parents. The remaining children lived with only one divorced parent who had sole custody. Unsurprisingly, the study found the lowest incidence of psychosomatic illnesses among children who were raised in a nuclear two-parent family. However, the researchers had not expected to find such a wide divergence between children who were in a joint custody situation and and those who lived with only one divorced parent. Children who spent a roughly equal amount of time with both parents showed significantly lower rates of psychosomatic complaints than children who were raised by one parent alone.

The results of the study indicate that whatever issues may affect joint custody on the practical and parental levels seem to be more than compensated by having both parents with strong roles in the child's life. Many courts believe that frequent contact with both parents after a divorce is best for the child.

Child custody arrangements appear to have a direct effect on the health of the child or children. It may be helpful to retain the services of an attorney when there is a specific custody or visitation decision that a parent feels is crucial.

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

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