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Shared parenting can work for many Florida families

When contemplating divorce, many parents cannot bear the thought of losing access to their children. The end of a marriage does necessitate a change in parenting schedules, but those changes do not have to be negative. There is a wide body of research that supports the notion that shared child custody is a great structure for families, and Florida spouses are encouraged to give this approach careful consideration.

According to research, children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent have a number of positive outcomes. They are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking or drug use. They are also less susceptible to issues like depression, anxiety and other stress-related disorders.

Parents who are considering shared parenting do not have to think in terms of a strict 50/50 division of parenting time and responsibilities. In reality, achieving a strict 50/50 split is a nearly unattainable goal. Instead, the focus should be on allowing and supporting a strong bond between the child and both parents. The way that parenting time is divided can be structured in any way that suits the divided family's needs.

A workable shared custody structure depends on a high degree of parental cooperation, which can be a challenge for some Florida spouses. However, in light of the research mentioned above, parents should consider whether a shared custody agreement could work for not only their own needs, but those of the children at the center of the matter. Focusing on the children is a great way for parents to remain centered and positive throughout the larger divorce process.

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

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