New research shows that a child’s relationship with mom and dad is equally important. Gone are the days of defaulting to single custody for one parent with visitation for the other. With an important exception for keeping a child away from a parent that is abusive or neglectful, the general rule, borne out by research, is that shared child custody is the best option for the child. Individuals in Wyoming who desire to split caregiving with their ex can take some hope from one scientist’s recent research. 

A professor at a noted university reviewed 44 previously published studies on end-of-marriage conflict and its effect on kids. Traditionally, courts have tended to favor one parent keeping custody as a way to limit the child’s exposure to parental conflict, believing that to be in a child’s best interest. Actually, research suggests a child’s relationship with both parents is more important for long-term well-being. 

It has been long thought that high-conflict and poor co-parenting situations mean poor outcomes for children, but the recent study shows that to have a limited effect. It was also documented that conflict tends to be reduced a few years after the divorce. There are changing attitudes about the issue as well. Several states have passed legislation that supports shared caregiving after divorce. 

Wyoming has not yet created any such legislation. Parents in Wyoming who are facing divorce and want shared child custody can discuss this with a family law attorney when preparing for negotiations. A lawyer can assist parents who wish to maintain relationships with their children. 

Source: startribune.com, “Rosenblum: New research supports shared custody for children in divorce“, Gail Rosenblum, Aug. 30, 2017