The issue of "who gets the children" is often forefront in the minds of soon-to-be-divorced parents, largely because culture has reinforced the idea through media representation that one parent typically receives sole custody. Indeed, Texas residents facing child custody arrangements today may even have been given advice suggesting that spending the majority of time with one parent would provide kids with a more "stable" environment. However, a new study suggests the opposite might be true.
The study, recently published by the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, has called into question whether one predominant parent is the best model for children of divorced parents. The study polled some 150,000 children, aged 12 and 15, asking questions pertaining to their development and emotional health. The results were somewhat startling.
It turns out, based on this study, that children who only saw one parent with regularity suffered from increased incidences of stress-related issues, including loss of appetite, headaches and difficulty concentrating. By contrast, kids who "packed a suitcase" weekly and spent more equal time with both parents had a far lower incidence of these issues. It has been suggested that depriving a child of a relationship with one parent to whom they had become accustomed means losing a vital intimate emotional connection.
Clearly, the results of this study may not pertain to every couple out there. Certainly some Texas residents can point to scenarios in which joint child custody would not be preferred or may even be detrimental. However, the questions posed by the study are important for divorcing parents to ponder. The parties may also benefit from seeking the assistance of a child custody professional in determining the best course for their new, separate family environments.
Source: goodhousekeeping.com, "Worst Divorce Arrangement for Kids", Samantha Toscano, May 1, 2015