Research suggests that parents in Arizona and throughout the country share custody of their children if possible. This is true even if the child is a toddler. Generally speaking, allowing a child to stay overnight with a mother or father is not going to harm their development. Furthermore, having both parents share custody can be good for the family as a whole. Children in such an environment had fewer mental, physical and behavioral problems.
They also tended to have better relationships with their parents and others in their lives. Finally, shared custody led to children with less stress and greater satisfaction in their lives. These conclusions were based on an analysis of 54 studies. Researchers said that children were better off in joint custody situations even when the parents experienced conflict in their own relationships. That result was based mostly on the fact that noncustodial fathers didn't see their children as often when they didn't have custody.
In some cases, noncustodial parents found it more difficult to see their children on such a limited basis. After awhile, the noncustodial parent began to think that he or she was not valued by the child. In other cases, the custodial parent took steps to actively turn the children against the noncustodial parent or move the children far away from the parent.
When making a custody ruling, a judge will first determine what is in the best interest of the children involved in a case. An attorney may help a parent show that he or she can provide financially as well as emotionally for a child. It may also be necessary to provide evidence that shows a parent can provide stability in a child's life. If a parent doesn't receive custody, he or she will likely obtain visitation rights.