No matter the way one looks at divorce, young children will always have a hard time adjusting to the altered circumstances. The changes in their primary support systems typically bring about anxiety, which also affects the parents who try to work out child custody arrangements that will least affect the children. A new international study recently confirmed what Ontario authorities in child-related matters already knew -- spending equal amounts of time with both parents promotes the best outcome when it comes to the mental health of children of divorce.
The researchers studied three scenarios involving preschoolers -- those spending equal amounts of time in the homes of both parents, those who live primarily with only one parent, and children who lived with both their parents. Even with making adjustments to accommodate sociodemographics, fewer psychological problems were found among children who were spending the same amount of time with both their parents. In fact, this group was on par with the group of children whose parents were together.
At the same time, shared child custody may cause less stress for parents who would not need to hold to complicated schedules to accommodate parenting time, doctors' and dentist appointments, extracurricular activities along with personal and business obligations. Steering away from the traditional every second weekend and one night per week with the father may benefit all. Alternating weekly parenting stints in shared custody arrangements can bring calmness to parenting.
In Ontario, shared custody has encouraged divorced parents to be innovative in the way they schedule parenting to benefit all. Any parent who is considering divorce and concerned about the children's welfare may learn a lot from an experienced divorce lawyer. A lawyer can explain the possible options that are available when it comes to child custody and other related matters.
Source: Huffington Post Canada, "If You Want To Help Young Kids After Divorce, Share Custody Of Them: Study", Rebecca Zamon, Sept. 11, 2017