“How are we going to make sure the kids are okay?” This is a common and admirable question that many parents going through a divorce ask desperately. The decision to get a divorce at its base level is to end a marriage. For those with kids, it is also a decision to change their lives.
Changing the kids’ lives is unavoidable in a divorce. The long-term, emotional impact of the family change can depend on the living arrangement among parents and their kids after divorce. A new study claims to see a trend in terms of what fosters the healthiest parent/child relationships.
The study is likely most valuable for divorcing parents of young children. Why? Because according to the research of now college-age students whose parents separated or divorced when they were younger, those who had equal overnight time with both mom and dad as toddlers were most likely to have the healthiest relationships with both parents currently.
Specifically, the study found an important age to be 2. Even if the mom and dad aren’t necessarily friendly, a 2-year-old having overnights with both parents equally is good for that child and his or her bond with both parents.
This study and others like it that argue for equal parenting arrangements have most impacted consideration regarding fathers’ time with their kids after divorce. Tradition has resulted in moms having primary physical custody of the kids. Recent studies into children and family relationships suggest that tradition may not have been in the best interests of kids in a world where we know how important a father-child relationship is.
Studies like this provide general conclusions. Experienced family law attorneys understand that every case and family are different. What is good for one child in one family’s divorce might be harmful to the next child in another family’s case. You should talk honestly with your trusted lawyer about what will be best for your family.