Fewer people moving out of state because of divorces

Over the years, many Minnesota residents have moved to other states, and people from other states have relocated to Minnesota. This pattern of migration replicated across the U.S. has shaped the country's history as people move to new places in order to better their lives. In the last 50 years, the migration rate has declined, and demographers have not been sure why.

One researcher at the University of Connecticut believes that divorce and child custody cases are linked to the falling migration rates. Fifty years ago, courts most often gave custody of children to their mothers, leaving men to move to other states in the search for new opportunities while seeing their children during the summers. At that time, fathers also were more likely to view child rearing as the job of mothers.

Today, both the courts and the views of fathers about their children have changed. Judges now generally favor awarding joint custody of the children. Men also are much more active in raising their children than they were 50 years ago. This may lead former spouses to remain living near each other so they both can be present for their children. The researcher analyzed data from U.S. migration patterns along with data from divorce and child custody cases, finding a strong link between falling migration rates and divorce and child custody matters.

Divorce and child custody cases often cause emotional stress for people who are going through them. A person may benefit by retaining a family law attorney for help. As an outside party, the attorney may be better able to advise the client from a legally grounded and logical standpoint.

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