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What are the benefits of shared parenting post-divorce?

Filing for divorce induces a wide variety of thoughts and concerns. This is especially true for Minnesota parents considering the needs and interests of a child or children during the process. While no parent seeks to split up his or her family, in some cases, this is the best option for everyone involved. Thus, it is important to consider how best to parent following divorce and how to ensure the best interests of the children can continue to be met post-divorce.

Ultimately, the best way to accomplish this is by developing a strong and fair custody agreement. Custody arrangements from one family to another can look vastly different. That is even true when they are joint-custody arrangements. In many cases, co-parenting or joint custody is looked at as a fair and beneficial arrangement. And when it is a workable order to meet, parents and children find this to be the most effective way to meet the ongoing needs that may develop over the years.

What are the benefits of shared parenting post-divorce? Decades ago, divorces often meant that mothers obtained full custody while fathers were granted visitation. In the 1970s, there was the belief that mothers were supremely important while fathers were viewed at as being expendable. Researchers have found that this belief is what has contributed to a child and a fathers desire to spend more time with each other. These visitation arrangements also illustrated a transformation from a child viewing their dad as a father to someone who is more like an uncle. A child would view him or herself as a visitor in their father's house.

In order to capture a beneficial and more realistic parent-child relationship, a shared-parenting arrangement was focused on and often pushed for. This arrangement is also sought after because of the benefits it could provide. Over 50 studies focusing on joint physical custody found that children who spent at least 35 percent of their time with each parent, versus living with one parent and visiting the other, were likely to have a better relationship with both parents and do better academically, socially and psychologically.

Shared custody can look different from one family to the next, but the important factor with this post-divorce parenting arrangement is that the best interests of the children are protected. Those dealing with custody issues should therefore understand their legal rights, how they interact with their children's best interests, and how to best proceed for their family's well-being.

Source:, "After divorce, shared parenting is best for children's health and development," Richard A. Warshak, May 26, 2017

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