Studies show that children who grow up in single-parent households, with little or no contact with the other parent, tend to have more emotional and psychological difficulties as children and as adults, and can have a much harder road to becoming successful, productive, happy adults. Obviously, this is not the outcome for all children of single parents, our current president being a shining example. But even Barrak Obama had to go through a significant psychological struggle as a teen and young adult to get where he is today, as portrayed in his autobiographical books. It is an established fact that a child who has a good relationship with both parents after they separate, has greatly increased odds of enjoying long-term psychological health, and success in life as an adult.
However, in some cases sole custody with one parent and limited contact with the other parent may be necessary to protect a child from psychological or physical abuse, at least until the other parent gets help to change his or her abusive behaviors. The benefit of this protection can outweigh the potential difficulties caused by the limitation of, or loss of contact with, the abusive parent. In extreme cases of abuse, the appropriate action is to contact CPS. Yet, CPS does not always have the resources to address all such cases, and, thus, the family court may still be the appropriate forum to get protective orders. As mentioned above, divorce may also involve restraining orders, and in getting restraining orders, modifying custody may be appropriate.