Dividing the Child

Dividing the Child

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Questions about how children fare in divided families have become as perplexing and urgent as they are common. In this landmark work on custody arrangements, the developmental psychologist Eleanor Maccoby and the legal scholar Robert Mnookin consider these questions and their ramifications for society. The first book to examine the social and legal realities of how divorcing parents make arrangements for their children, Dividing the Child is based on a large, representative study of families from a wide range of socioeconomic levels. Maccoby and Mnookin followed a group of more than one thousand families for three years after the parents filed for divorce. Their findings show how different divorce agreements are reached, from uncontested dealings to formal judicial rulings, and how various custody arrangements fare as time passes and family circumstances change. Numerous examples of joint custody and father custody are considered in this account, along with the mother-custody families more commonly studied; and in most cases the point of view of both parents is presented. Among families in which children spend time in both parental households, the authors identify three different patterns of co-parenting: cooperative, conflicted, and disengaged. They find that although divorcing parents seldom engage in formal legal disputes, they are generally unable to cooperate effectively in raising their children. Full of interesting findings with far-reaching implications, this book will be invaluable to the lawyers, judges, social workers, and parents who, more and more often, must make wise and informed decisions concerning the welfare and care of children of divorce.sions, anecdotal evidence suggests that nearly all divorcing couples in California follow the equal division rule. ... However, as we shall see, the schedules did not entirely determine how much child support would be awarded. ... Figure 6.1 shows that fathers were ordered to pay child support in 89 percent of mother- physical/ mother-legal custody cases and in 96 percent of mother-physical/joint- legalanbsp;...

Title:Dividing the Child
Author:Eleanor E. Maccoby, Robert H. Mnookin
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 1992-01-01


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