Author(s): Gunnoe ML, Braver SL
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Findings from comparisons of joint and sole custody families that do not control for predivorce differences in demographic and family process variables (factors that may predispose families to choose or be awarded joint custody) are of limited generalizability, since obtained group differences may be attributable to predisposing (self-selection) factors, custody, or both. This study compared a random sample of 254 recently separated, not-yet-divorced families on 71 predivorce variables that might plausibly differentiate between families awarded joint legal versus sole maternal custody. Twenty such factors were identified and controlled for in subsequent comparisons of 52 sole maternal and 26 joint legal custody families 2 years postdivorce. Families with joint custody had more frequent father-child visitation, lower maternal satisfaction with custody arrangements, more rapid maternal repartnering, and fewer child adjustment problems (net of predivorce selection factors). Moreover, these effects did not appear to be moderated by level of predecree parental conflict. No association between custody and fathers' compliance with child support orders was obtained.
This article was published in Law Hum Behav
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Legal Sciences