Dividing The Child / Edition 1

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Law and Politics Book Review

An important book for those concerned with family policy: it clarifies the connections among various factors involved in the dissolution process with care and concern...[It] should...assist in refocusing divorce from reform efforts toward the difficult issues of enhancing cooperation and easing adjustments to lives after divorce.
— Alice Hearst

Contemporary Sociology

Adds significantly to current knowledge about the roles of law, culture, and psychology in shaping the economic and parenting systems in postdivorce families...Gives a fascinating picture of divorce in process and the interplay between formal legal and informal practical arrangements.
— Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

Law and Politics Book Review - Alice Hearst
An important book for those concerned with family policy: it clarifies the connections among various factors involved in the dissolution process with care and concern...[It] should...assist in refocusing divorce from reform efforts toward the difficult issues of enhancing cooperation and easing adjustments to lives after divorce.
Andrew J. Cherlin
Maccoby and Mnookin have provided the first look at what the sweeping legal changes in custody arrangements since the 1970s mean for the daily lives of divorced parents and their children today. Authoritative, rich in insight, it is a report from the postdivorce front that everyone concerned about the future of the American family should read.
Contemporary Sociology - Barbara Bennett Woodhouse
Adds significantly to current knowledge about the roles of law, culture, and psychology in shaping the economic and parenting systems in postdivorce families...Gives a fascinating picture of divorce in process and the interplay between formal legal and informal practical arrangements.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674212954
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 8/19/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 0.80 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Eleanor E. Maccoby is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stanford University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Robert H. Mnookin is Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1. Introduction

2. Understanding the Processes of Divorce

3. Characteristics of the Families Studied

4. Initial Residence and Visitation

5. Child Custody: What Parents Want and Get

6. The Economic Provisions of the Divorce Decree

7. Conflict over the Terms of the Divorce Decree

8. Continuity and Change in Children's Residence and Visitation

9. Parenting and Co-parenting Apart

10. Economic Changes over Time

11. Facing the Dilemmas of Child Custody

Appendix A Supplementary Tables

Appendix B Methods

Notes

References

Index

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