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Children Benefit from Shared Parenting Following Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneys, shared parenting, contentious divorce, parental responsibility, parenting timeThe end of a long-term relationship is difficult for everyone involved, but children of divorcing parents are often hit the hardest as they experience major changes to their lives and routines. A contentious divorce can have especially negative effects on children, including long-term health problems and psychological issues. However, even if parents are unable to agree on many of the various issues that must be settled during their divorce, they should consider their children’s best interests when making decisions about the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time.

Research Shows the Benefits of Shared Parenting

Throughout the 20th century, many experts believed that children of divorced parents needed the stability of living in a single home rather than dividing time between parents. Divorce decrees typically reflected this, with one parent (usually the mother) being granted sole custody of children, and the other parent receiving limited visitation time. However, these types of arrangements no longer reflect the reality of modern parenting, in which both mothers and fathers are often highly involved in their children’s lives.

In the 21st century, divorce agreements in which parental responsibility is shared between parents and children spend near-equal amounts of time with both parents have become more common. Researchers have performed a number of studies in recent years examining children and families in shared parenting situations, and their findings include:

  • Children who spend at least 35 percent of the time with each parent have better relationships with their parents, step-parents, and grandparents, and they perform better in school;
  • Children in shared parenting situations are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs;
  • Children in shared parenting families experience better emotional and physical health and have fewer behavioral problems;
  • Infants’ and toddlers’ bonds with their parents are not weakened by shared overnight parenting time with each parent;
  • Children benefit from shared parenting even when there is a high level of conflict between parents; and
  • Shared parenting results in better outcomes for children regardless of the parents’ income level.

As the benefits of shared parenting become more well-known, many states have passed or are considering legislation which would presume that shared parenting is in children’s best interests when making decisions about parental responsibility during divorce. Divorcing parents should be sure to understand the laws and work to reach an agreement that is best for their children.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

If you need help reaching an agreement about parental responsibility and parenting time in your divorce, the attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and obligations and advocate for your children’s best interests. Contact our DuPage County divorce attorneys at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/shared-custody-stress-science/

https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/26/divorce-shared-parenting-children-health/

https://ifstudies.org/blog/10-surprising-findings-on-shared-parenting-after-divorce-or-separation

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