Research points to child custody and attachment connection
New research done by a University of Illinois psychologist and his colleague indicates that there is a link between child custody and attachment. According to the researcher, children are often more securely attached to the parent they live with post-divorce.
The research also indicated that the children who were the youngest at the time of their parents' divorce tended to be impacted the most by it. However, these children did not seem to suffer impacts to their ability to form romantic relationships later in their lives.
The study reinforces both the notion that the early years of a child's life are critical, as well as the importance of preserving a child's relationship with his or her parents even after the family structure changes due to divorce. Though divorce is never easy for anyone, the ability for parents to come up with a custody arrangement that allows for both parties to build and maintain a loving relationship with their child is generally best.
Often, courts decide that joint legal custody is in the best interest of a child. Joint legal custody means that both parents equally share the responsibility and the right to make decisions concerning issues such as the child's health, education and religion. Joint physical custody is, in many cases, in the best interest of the child as well, as it provides parenting time by both parents as equally as possible.
Other custody options include sole physical or legal custody, in which one parent has physical custody and the decision-making responsibilities regarding the child.
Source: LiveScience, "Divorce Hits Youngest Kids Hardest," Tia Ghose, July 2, 2013