Traditionally, courts have favored granting the mother custody of a child in the event of divorce.
Aliso Viejo, CA (PRWEB) August 07, 2013
New findings reviewed by online divorce service MyDivorcePapers.com (MDP) revealed that joint custody can affect a child’s attachment to his caregivers. The findings stemmed from a University of Virginia study stating that infants who spent at least one night per week away from their mothers had more insecure attachments compared to those who had fewer overnights while seeing their father during the day.
What’s In The Best Interest Of The Child?
According to Samantha Tornello, the study’s lead author and a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the university, “Judges often find themselves making decisions regarding custody without knowing what actually may be in the best interest of the child, based on psychology research ... Our study raises the question, ‘Would babies be better off spending their overnights with a single caregiver, or at least less frequently in another home?’”
The end-of-month numbers from MDP reveal the challenges that judges would face in light of this new evidence.
Traditionally, courts have favored granting the mother custody of a child in the event of divorce. For some men, the new information could pose a problem if it means losing the ability to forge a bond of their own with their children early in the child’s life.
(In the less common cases of a father being awarded the status of primary caregiver, it could have the same effect on women.)
The Danger Of Shutting Out Caregivers
According to MDP’s end-of-month data for June 2013, children would be affected in 51.57 percent of all cases that one spouse ends up filing for divorce..
With joint custody or at least regular visitation awarded to both parents in most cases, a judge’s decision now has the two-pronged effect of increasing detachment between children and their parents or (potentially) unfairly punishing one parent, who may not have even wanted the divorce.
(Data also shows that divorces are still primarily initiated by the wife about 64 percent of the time.)
Regardless of what the courts do with this new information, the focal point should be, as Tornello phrases it, “in the best interests of the child.” But as gender roles continually shift with women seeking out how to file for divorce generally earning $10,000 more per year than their husbands and taking a more active role at work, it’s getting tougher to determine the meaning of Tornello’s phrase.
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