Shared Physical Custody: Summary of 40 Studies on Outcomes for Children

 

LINDA NIELSEN

Department of Education, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

One of the most complex and compelling issues confronting poli- cymakers, parents, and professionals involved in making custody decisions is this: What type of parenting plan is most beneficial for the children after their parents separate? More specifically, are the outcomes any better or worse for children who live with each par- ent at least 35% of the time compared to children who live primarily with their mother and spend less than 35% of the time living with their father? This article addresses this question by summarizing the 40 studies that have compared children in these two types of families during the past 25 years. Overall the children in shared parenting families had better outcomes on measures of emotional, behavioral, and psychological well-being, as well as better physical health and better relationships with their fathers and their mothers, benefits that remained even when there were high levels of conflict between their parents. Read more

Shared Residential Custody: Review of the Research (Part II of II)

 BY DR. LINDA NIELSEN

CHARACTERISTICS OF SHARED

PARENTING FATHERS

An issue raised in regard to shared parenting is

that these fathers are somehow “better” than other

fathers to begin with. If this is true, then whatever

benefi ts are associated with shared parenting

might have accrued even if these children had

lived mainly with their mothers. To my knowledge,

no study has compared the quality of father-child

relationships before and after divorce to the type of

parenting plan the parents chose. However, there

are at least three reasons not to assume that the

majority of shared parenting fathers are far “better”

parents than fathers who only see their children

every other weekend. Read more

Shared Residential Custody: Review of the Research (Part I of II

DR. LINDA NIELSEN

Part I of this two-part article focuses on major concerns

relating to shared residential custody, the

children’s perspective, parental confl ict, and cooperation

and income. Part II will discuss characteristics of

fathers, outcomes for children (e.g., academic and behavioral),

and stability of shared parenting. The studies referenced

in both parts appear at the end of Part I.

Read more

Words Of Caution To Parents in Child Custody and Visitation situations:

Do not try to micro manage the other parent’s time and relationship with the children during visitation.  It is not up to you, even if you have custody of the children, what they may or may not do when together unless there is an actual danger or harm to the children objectively speaking, not in your opinion.  In such a case, call the police or file with the court whichever may be appropriate. You may be the better parent, but that does not make the other parent any less of a parent to be told by you how to and not do things with the children.  The other parent does not have to tell you what they will be doing, where they will be going, and so on.  And you are not to grill the children about this either at the end of a visit. Read more