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Shared parenting in Massachusetts may be good for kids

It has been generally assumed that children of divorced parents who lived with both parents afterwards would end up being stressed out due to having to move back and forth between two households. However, a study done in Sweden that was recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health indicates that children who live with only one parent after a divorce are the most likely to feel stress due to their living situation.

Using data on a group of 150,000 children who were either in the 6th grade or 9th grade, researchers found that psychosomatic health issues were most common in children living with a parent with sole custody after a divorce. Children living in nuclear families were the least likely to have problems, while those living in joint custody arrangements fell in the middle of the other two groups.

Children who lived in a single-parent household were the most liable to experience issues like trouble sleeping, problems concentrating, headaches and feelings of sadness. Overall sleep issues were the most common issues, and girls were more likely to have psychosomatic problems than boys.

Custody issues can be very contentious, and it is important to understand how the courts determine these cases. Courts generally base decisions on the best interests of the child, and the evidence that is presented to a judge can have a significant impact on the eventual ruling. A parent who is in the middle of a divorce that involves a custody dispute may find that the assistance of a family law attorney can be helpful in negotiating a favorable custody arrangement that the court will find acceptable.

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