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Which parent is the primary caretaker in a divorce?

Alabama parents want nothing but the best for their children. When it comes to divorce, it can be very difficult not only for the child, but for the parent as well, in dealing with the thought of separating from their child. This is true no matter what age the child is, although it can be particularly troublesome for parents with younger children, when establishing the parent-child bond is at its most important time.

A recent study confirmed the need for parent-child bonding during the child’s early years, and what effects a divorce has on the child when this bond is severed. The study indicates that the parent-child bond may be affected when parents get divorced when the child is young, as opposed to when the child is older and has developed the bond with each parent.

When a court determines child custody issues, the existing bond between the parents and the child is also an important consideration. In many cases, the court may try to place physical custody of the child with the child’s primary caretaker. In line with the above study, the primary caretaker is the parent who has the strongest bond with the child, and who takes care of most child-rearing responsibilities, such as bathing, meal planning and health care arrangements. The court’s goal is to continue the bond between the child and the primary caretaker, and strengthen the existing emotional bond.

In any event, it is clear that the bond between a parent and child is central to a child custody determination. Of course, this is just one factor in determining the best interests of the child. Moreover, in many cases, it may not be clear whether there is one primary caretaker between the parents.

Source: Live Science, “Divorce hits youngest kids the hardest, study finds,” Tia Ghose, Jul. 2, 2013