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Study Finds Joint Custody Arrangement is Best for Children

A new study on child custody was recently posted in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggesting that children are much better off when they spend time living with both parents after a divorce.

Conventional wisdom might suggest that children suffer undue stresses due to the physical and social upheavals that occur when the child has to go back and forth between parents. It’s not easy for a kid to be cooped up in a car every Friday and Sunday night, after all. But the study, conducted out of the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, showed that the back-and-forth doesn’t matter ”“ kids like to have access to both parents.

Studies Show that Parental Engagement is More Important than Stable Housing

Researchers analyzed national data from about 150,000 students from the 6th and 9th grades to compare stress levels by examining psychosomatic health problems including sleep issues, concentration deficits, loss of appetite, headaches, stomachaches and emotional responses like irritability and depression.

The majority of the children studied were a part of a nuclear family, and the data suggested that these kids had the least amount of stress. Of the remaining numbers, researchers found that students who lived with both separated parents suffered far fewer problems than those who lived solely with one parent. The investigators theorize that allowing the children to engage regularly with both parents is more valuable to the children than having a single place to live, and that having two resource pools ”“ for social circles, family and material goods like money ”“ reduces the feelings of vulnerability that children may feel when restricted to one parent. And then there’s also the added bonus of double holidays.

If you are struggling with child custody issues, this study could help you decide whether a joint custody situation would be best for your children. If you need help with determining a custody arrangement, speak with a qualified family law attorney.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys