Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Especially When Kids Are Involved

Aug 8, 2012 by

Two people who have fallen in love and gotten married are rarely pleased that the original plan of death do us part didn’t come to fruition. This already emotionally challenging process is multiplied tenfold when children are involved. Deciding on custody and visitation can be a painful process for everyone, and could easily put damaging factions inside any family. With a topic that carries as much weight as this one, it’s important to study the statistics to see what this process consists of and the most common results compared with what is perceived as best for the children.

Studies show that the healthiest result for kids who have to experience their parents divorcing is joint custody. While this is more common in some states, the majority of agreements do not result in this. Statistics indicate that about a third of fathers prefer the idea of joint custody, while about 15 % of mothers do. Even so, if this arrangement is at all possible, it will likely be the best case scenario for the children.

Most people have images of court battles and a drawn out legal process when it comes to custody following a divorce. However, this is usually not the case. A surprising 51 % of custody agreements are decided by the parents themselves, and an additional 29 % were able to eventually settle on a decision without third party involvement of any kind. The most common result is to award sole custody to the mother. This rate goes from 63 % in the event of mediation down to 44 % in a trial, the latter of which has a 40 % result of joint custody. These two results are by far the most common result of custody battles. Sole custody to the father has always been extremely rare (6 to 11 %) and remains so.

In the event it comes down to war, the factors most likely to affect the final decision involve testimonies to the parent’s relationship with the child, and what is in the child’s best interest. Sadly, there’s never a perfect agreement when it comes to divorce and children, but if handled carefully and with as little hostility as possible, arrangements can certainly be made to make the most out of an unfortunate situation, and thankfully parents are usually pretty good at working this out on their own.

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