Daniel E. Clement is a divorce and family law attorney who has been practicing since 1986 and blogging at the New York Divorce Report since 2006. Daniel uses his in-depth experience to provide sensitive representation for his clients during an emotional and challenging time in their lives. Daniel writes and lectures on family law issues, and he is sought after as an expert in the field by print, television and radio journalists. He represents a wide range of clients frequently needing help with a divorce or a pre-nuptial agreement. Daniel focuses on educating his clients on family law so they're empowered to make decisions and understand what they're owed. Full Bio
What is the best custody arrangement after divorce?
Even the most well-intentioned parents may disagree about their children’s parenting plan or visitation schedule; as part of a divorce, it is not uncommon for parents to fight for an extra hour or day simply to maximize their time with the children.
Long gone are the days when it was presumed that the mother will have sole custody of the children, and that fathers only get to see them every other weekend. Joint custody is now the trend, but is it good for the children?
According to a study conducted at the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, the answer is yes. Researchers studied the psychosomatic health problem of 150,000 12 and 15-year-old students (sixth and ninth graders). According to the study, the children from intact families reported the fewest psychosomatic problems like sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, headaches and stomach aches; and feeling tense, sad or dizzy.
Unsurprisingly, the students who spent significant time with both of their parents, though separated, reported fewer symptoms than children who lived with only one parent. In other words, the children of parents who had sole custody had the most health issues. The author of the study, Malin Bergström, noted:
Having everyday contact with both parents seems to be more important, in terms of stress, than living in two different homes... Having two parents also tends to double the number of resources a kid is exposed to, including social circles, family, and material goods like money... Having access to half of that may make children more vulnerable or stressed than having it from both parents, even though they don’t live together.
While this is a small study in one foreign locality, it demonstrates that there is a direct correlation between having stable paternal relationships and a child’s mental health. Wouldn't you be willing to share residential custody of your children if it put them at ease, made them less tense, and allowed them to sleep better?
This question was originally posted at clementlaw.com/child-custody/what-is-the-best-custody-arrangement-after-divorce. The writer retains all copyrights.