Children’s Health Appears To Benefit From Joint Custody


North Carolina parents who are going through a divorce may be interested in the results of a recent Swedish study which analyzed the effects on children on custody arrangements. The study covered 150,000 children in the 6th and 9th grades, taking careful note of their parental situation and reports of illnesses they have that may be considered psychosomatic. Researchers felt that if stress was reflected in the ailments of the children, then this could be an excellent way to indirectly measure the stress of divorce upon the offspring.

The majority of the children included in the survey lived in a nuclear household with both parents. Others had parents who had divorced, with the children in a joint custody arrangement where they spent time with both parents, while the rest lived with one parent after the divorce. The research showed that children in a nuclear family had the fewest psychosomatic illnesses.

The data reflected a significant difference between the children of joint custody arrangements and those living in single parent homes. Joint custody children had measurably fewer psychosomatic illnesses to report. The researchers’ original suspicion that the stress of moving back and forth between two households would be shown in greater illnesses was not borne out. They now believe that regular contact with both parents is in the best interest of the child.

When new information comes to light that inspires a reevaluation of existing child custody orders, the assistance of a family law attorney can be invaluable. Legal counsel can also help a parent who is going through a divorce to negotiate an agreement that will provide sufficient parenting time for a client and which can be approved by the court.