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09 July 2003

Moving after divorce harms kids

Children may suffer if a parent with custody moves to another city after a divorce, says a new study. This flies in the face of court decisions that allowed guardians to move cities.

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Children may suffer if a parent with custody moves to another city after a divorce, says a new study. This flies in the face of court decisions that allowed guardians to move cities. The study was conducted by researchers from the Arizona State University and their results were published in a recent issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

The results contradict decisions by some courts that a child's interests are best served by letting a custodial parent move to another city to improve his or her circumstances.

What is good for the parent is not necessarily good for the child
There is an assumption that essentially what is good for the custodial parent is good for the child. The assumption in part says that if something improves the parent's life, then it will trickle down to the child. Based on our results, that doesn't appear to be the case, researcher Sanford Braver says in a news release.

The study included a survey of students in an introductory psychology class. They were asked if their parents had been divorced and if the students and their custodial parent had moved after the divorce.

If that was the case, the students were asked a series of questions about their emotional response to the move, their general life satisfaction, current health status, relationship with parents, and perceptions of having had a hard life.

Kids that had been relocated had more issues
The study found the students of divorced parents who had experienced a move had much higher negative impacts in terms of general health, concern over parental financial support and more distress over the divorce.

Those students also believed their parents had a worse relationship and perceived their parents to be less of a source of emotional support than those who had not moved. There were similar negative results whether the parent who moved was a mother or father. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Divorce damages infants too
Getting divorced? Soften the blow for your kids
Joint custody better for kids of divorce
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