Sole Custody Outcomes

Children whose families undergo a series of disruptions and changes are more likely to experience social, educational and health problems than those whose families remain intact. 

Although in the 1970s some experts were quite sanguine about the impact of divorce on children, by the mid-1980s there was a clear consensus among researchers that divorce can have very serious consequences for children's well being.

Compared to children from intact families, children of divorce are more likely to experience:

Reduced Psychological, Socio-Emotional and Cognitive Well-Being, and Poorer Physical Health

Juvenile Delinquency, Substance Use, and Other Problem Behaviours

Lower Educational and Occupational Attainments

Increased Risk of Early Home-Leaving, Early Unplanned Pregnancy, Teenage Marriage, and Divorce

Increased Risk of Child Suicide

Increased Risk of Child Abuse

Increased Risk of Being Murdered

Weak Relationships With Parents and Other Kin in Adult Life

Child custody contests are recognised by experts as presenting great dangers to the emotional welfare of the children involved. Most existing studies on the impact of divorce indicate that it is a highly complex process, which represents a major source of stress and readjustment for children and parents. It is well documented that sole custody, which has had a long trial period, leaves serious problems for children and their parents. Let us look at what happens to children under exclusive sole custody in particular. The accumulated data suggests that children who are not forced to divorce a caring parent are more likely to be better adjusted after divorce.

Feelings of Loss and Abandonment
Loyalty Conflicts and Separation Anxiety

Unhappiness and Depression
Emotional Victimization

Adjustment of Parents

Since children are not doing well under the present system, how are the parents faring? Studies indicate the following problems associated with divorce generally and sole custody in particular. This and other research shows that parents face major difficulties also in adjusting to sole custody arrangements.

Loss and Separation Anxiety
Loss of Familiar Activities and Habit Systems
Role Loss Especially Among Non-Custodial Parents
Increased Risk For Suicide Especially Among Non-Custodial Parents

Decline In The Ability To Parent

Physical Symptoms Related To Both Separation & Loss of Parental Role

Adjustment of Grandparents

Feelings of Loss and Unhappiness


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