This may come as no surprise to Connecticut parents who already share child custody, but experts are now saying it is nearly always the best option for children. Despite this, mothers are still most often awarded full custody of the kids with fathers only getting a small amount of parenting time.
Why does this inequity still exist in modern times? According to child experts like professor of adolescent and educational psychology, Linda Nielson, many courts still believe that conflict between parents is harmful to children. Nielson, on the other hand, believes differently and has a study’s findings to strengthen her case.
This new study found that parental conflict has been given an exaggerated role in child custody awards. Nielson and others like her say that conflict between parents should not be the focus of child custody decisions. Instead, the professor found that the quality of the child’s relationship with each parent was more important than any parental conflict.
Putting these findings in easy-to-understand language, the study showed that children in a shared child custody arrangement were healthier and happier overall than children in a skewed custody arrangement. Further, it appears that children in a joint physical custody situation experience fewer teen pregnancies and less substance use, according to Dr. Ned Holstein, another childhood authority.
Obviously, shared child custody is not always viable, but parents would do well to consider it as an option instead of dismissing it outright. One way to approach the possibility of shared or joint physical custody is by asking a family law attorney for some experience-based insight into your family situation and your divorce.
Source: The Columbian, “New research supports sharing child custody,” Gail Rosenblum, Sep. 13, 2017