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Thinking outside the box when making custody agreements

A recent study looked into the child custody arrangements of a group of divorced Australian parents. The findings of the study may not entirely resonate with parents in Massachusetts, but they do offer insight into methods of creating child custody arrangements.

The Australian study discovered that current child custody arrangements differ from those made years ago. Now, parents reportedly share more equally in parenting responsibilities than in the past. In addition, the report indicates that children move between parents' homes less often now. According to one source, moving between homes less often lowers the amount of stress children experience. This is especially positive for younger children, who often benefit from having regularity in their schedules.

Massachusetts parents in the process of creating a child custody agreement may want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of various custody arrangements. When doing so, thinking of one's own children could be very helpful. Children react to situations in their own ways. So, while one child may prefer to move between parents' homes every several days, another child may prefer another arrangement. For instance, if a child does not adjust to change well, staying with each parent for lengthier periods of time could be healthier than dealing with transitions multiple times each week.

Luckily, custody arrangements can be very specific in terms of when children spend time with each parent and for how long. Taking the time to consider various options and how each option would impact everyone in the family could lower the likelihood of challenging situations arising later on.

No matter what the arrangement ends up being, making the best decision for one's own children and family situation is important. One family going through a divorce is not identical to the one down the street divorcing. While receiving insight about how to approach child custody arrangements is often helpful, figuring out what is best for one's own family and children is more important.

Source: Phys.org, "Diverse post-divorce parenting arrangements on the increase," Pip Wilson, Nov. 26, 2012

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