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Benefits of equal visitation proven in new study

Texas is one of the states leading the way in redefining what is in the best interest of the child when it comes to child custody, visitation and parenting time. Like many parents, especially fathers, fighting for equal time with their children has been a long time coming. While other states' lawmakers fight over small percentages, Texas has already passed a law allowing non-custodial parents the right to at least 40 percent of parenting time with their children.

A new study from Arizona State University proved that children of divorce believe that they benefitted from spending equal time with both parents. The researchers conducted interviews with more than 1,000 college students who had grown up in divorced households and found that the child's perspective on visitation was in complete opposition from the popular literature.

Most family law courts believed that it was in the best for the children to stay in one primary residence and not be bounced around for parent to parent. But moms and dads both provide different valuable attributes to the healthy psychological development of their children. Mothers provide the comforting, nurturing and rule-setting. Dads bring engaging playfulness. And equal doses of both really are the best for children to be physically, mentally and behaviorally healthy.

While more judges are trying to balance parenting time in equal amounts, opponents warn that the law should continue to focus on what is in the best interest of the child, not just fairness to both parents. This is particularly true when the parents are unable to cooperate with the shared custody or there has been a history of domestic violence.

Source:, "Arizona dad fights for rights of divorced fathers," Alia Beard Rau, June 16, 2012

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