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Child custody could cause parental insecurity in adulthood

As the nation moves forward on the topic of same-sex marriage, many family experts have begun considering the possibility of divorce in such an arrangement. Just like opposite-sex couples, a same-sex couple will need to address many issues during a split. These include property division, spousal support and child custody. Though the subject of children being raised by two women or two men is often seen as a hot-button topic amongst people who do not support same-sex couples, the fact of the matter is that gay people can be parents, too. If they choose to divorce, this means that a custody agreement will have to be arranged.

This also means that studies regarding families should be considered by same-sex parents, including a recent one conducted regarding the effects that a divorce can have on a child in the long run. According to researchers, adult women and men who saw their parents' relationship end in a divorce were less likely to feel secure about their parental relationships. The younger these individuals were, the more likely they were to feel insecure, particularly when the divorce happened at an age younger than 5 years old. These feelings of insecurity have resulted in many individuals feeling like they cannot trust or rely on their parents during times of need.

The study involved an online survey that gathered the responses of more than 7,300 women and men. Their average age was 24 years old and more than a third of them had divorced parents. The average age of these individuals when the divorce occurred was 9 years old. By analyzing the data even further, researchers discovered that the aforementioned feelings of insecurity were more likely to be geared toward fathers.

This may be understood through another study conducted by the same study author during which the participants discussed who received primary custody after the divorce. In 74 percent of cases, the mother received custody. In 11 percent of the cases, the father received custody. The remaining cases involved other guardians. Though this study did not address homosexual couples, it can still be used as a lesson for those that get divorced in the future. If you are expecting to file for divorce, speak to a lawyer about your situation to figure out what your rights and options are, as well as what will be in the best interests of your children.

Source: Post Crescent, "Study: Divorce in early childhood may harm adult ties with parents" Kathleen Doheny, Jul. 19, 2013

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