Divorced couples with children in Washington often have differences of opinion over custody and visitation issues. Some may even believe that sole custody is best for the kids, especially infants and toddlers. However, joint custody is usually better for children of all ages. This is the main takeaway from a study published by a psychologist who analyzed research on various approaches to post-divorce parenting.
The study also found that worries about toddlers and infants staying overnight with their fathers are unfounded. Another researcher looking at similar studies drew the same conclusion about the positives of joint custody for children. According to her conclusions, there's evidence showing that kids in joint physical custody families do better both emotionally and academically. These kids also tend to have better overall physical health and healthier relationships with other people in their lives.
Sole custody situations can also place strains on relationships with dads since it's often mothers who take care of the kids. It's estimated that only about a third of children in single residential homes see the other parent once a month at a minimum. In some instances, the custodial arrangement contributes to a parent seeing a child so rarely that they become less involved because it's too painful to have restricted contact.
Disagreements over parenting plans and visitation schedules are among some of the more common child custody issues. Even when one parent vehemently opposes a joint physical custody arrangement, a lawyer could make a convincing argument to the contrary. If parents aren't able to be civil with one another following a divorce, additional legal actions may be necessary to enforce terms of the custody agreement.