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Mathematics, science used in child custody arrangements

Mathematics, science used in child custody arrangements

One of the hurdles divorced couples in Illinois may face is arranging visitation times when the former spouses have joint custody of their children. An even bigger obstacle is when one of the former spouses gets involved in a relationship with another divorced person with children. In that situation it may be difficult to arrange a period where all of the children visit at the same time. For some folks, physics may be able to solve their issues.

A Chilean physicist with two ex-wives and a girlfriend has come up with a potential solution that allows all of the children to visit one weekend while he gets alone time on the next weekend. The physicist gathered together members of the mathematics and complex systems fields to survey divorced parents who were dating other divorced parents. Their goal was to come up with an optimal solution agreeable to all parties.

In the end, they came up with an algorithm based on a mathematical model normally used to find the lowest state of energy in the magnetic system, known as spin-glass. The formula gave every parent surveyed all of their kids on the same weekend. Other physicists declared the algorithm a success in that it take a complicated social issue and transforms it into a formal scientific treatment.

Deciding on scheduled child visitations between divorced parents with joint custody can be so complicated that even a scientific equation can't solve it. In these circumstances, couples may wish to consult an attorney who concentrates on child custody issues. This attorney may review the concerns of both parents and come up with an amicable solution that avoids a potential court battle.

Source: Scientific American, "Physics Can Solve Child-Custody Arrangements", Clara Moskowitz, March 07, 2014

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