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Child custody arrangements: more than just every other weekend

Even though many single parents in Berks County only have their children every other weekend, there are a multitude of different ways that divorced or never-married parents can share custody of their children. Pennsylvania family court judges can create impersonal and cookie-cutter child custody arrangements, but, by working with lawyers, divorcing couples can also come up with solutions that make it easier for both parents to spend quality time with their children.

And now, it seems that physicists are getting involved in the business of child custody. What started as a desire to have every other weekend with both of his children from two different relationships and his girlfriend's child, one physicist and his colleagues created a mathematical model that could be used to help create complex custodial arrangements.

The physicist wanted to find a way for individuals to see all of their children on the same weekend while still allowing their exes, who have exes of their own, to also have all of their children on the same weekend. While he found that it may not always be possible to create just such an arrangement, his model does do a good job of reducing the number of people who are unhappy with their custodial arrangements.

What his model fails to take into consideration, however, is parents who fail to work with an ex to create a fair custody agreement. As many single parents in Berks County know, just because parents are supposed to share custody of their children doesn't mean an ex will make it easy to do so. Though this model can help to create some complex arrangements, sometimes the easiest way is to sit down with family law attorneys to hammer out a deal.

Source: Scientific American, "Physics Can Solve Child-Custody Arrangements," Clara Moskowitz, March 7, 2014

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