Study: The importance of duel-parenting in childrens’ lives

Studies show that children who are raised in joint-custody families are better adjusted than those raised in sole-custody households.

When couples file for divorce in California, they are often forced to make tough decisions on a wide-range of issues. One of the most difficult topics may be that of child custody, and which parent is better equipped to raise the children. While it is not uncommon for a judge to order sole-custody to one parent or the other, studies show that joint-custody arrangements may be best for a child's development.

A number of people may believe that shifting a child back and forth from one house to the other is not an ideal situation, as the child may have trouble establishing permanency in a household. However, researchers evaluated long-term child development to see whether it was really key for a child to spend the majority of his or her time with one parent.

The study

A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology involved researchers who reviewed 33 studies conducted on divorced and intact families. Approximately 1,846 of the cases were sole-custody arrangements and 814 involved joint-custody of the children. Researchers found that children who are raised in joint-custody arrangements where they spent a significant amount of time with both parents had a higher school performance, better family relationships, were more social and had a higher self-esteem. These children had fewer behavioral and emotional problems and showed better development overall.

Why joint-custody?

Researchers point to the fact that children do not have to be in joint-custody living arrangements, but just need to spend ample amounts of time with both their mother and father. Each parent plays a special role in a child's development, and it is critical that children are exposed to these traits. Of course, it is not an ideal situation if one parent is abusive or has mal-intent toward a child.

Fathers are essential to a child's development. They teach children to be confident and to explore their surroundings. Fathers encourage healthy competition and show kids the importance of striving to work hard and contribute to society. Mothers, on the other hand, give kids a sense of security and show children how to socialize and collaborate with others.

Doing what is best for the child

After all is said and done, the best interests of the child are the main importance. If you are going through a divorce or filing for legal separation, you want to do what is best for your child. An attorney in California who has experience handling cases in family law may be helpful to your situation. Having a lawyer to assist you in making crucial decisions may be essential during this emotional time.