When Florida parents get a divorce, they might want to consider shared parenting as an option. Research indicates that in most cases, children do better in joint custody situations. However, there are a few misconceptions that are not backed up by research that might prevent people from seeking joint custody.
For example, some individuals might assume that their children would prefer living in one place instead of moving back and forth between their parents' homes. However, according to one researcher and expert in shared parenting, in interviews, children say that they would rather put up with this disruption than have less time with either parent. Other people might also think that while this arrangement may be fine for older children, infants and toddlers will do better with one parent, usually the mother. However, there is no support for the idea that an infant bonds more significantly with the mother more than the father or that it is harmful to infants or toddlers to have overnight visitation with both parents.
Another concern for parents might be managing joint custody if they have a high-conflict relationship. Research has actually shown that the strong relationship with each parent that a child is able to build due to joint custody can help shield him or her from the effects of this hostility. Furthermore, joint custody might lead to a reduction in parental conflict.
Child custody arrangements can be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce to resolve. Parents may be reluctant to accept that they will spend less time with their children. However, if ex-spouses are able to negotiate a child custody arrangement, they may be able to come up with something that suits their individual situation better than a judge would during litigation. If the case does go to litigation, the judge will attempt to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child.