New Jersey law holds the best interests of the child to be the most important factor in any decisions related to custody. Trying to determine precisely what the best interests of the child may be, researchers have probed into the exact way that children react to the divorce of their parents.
Nearly 150,000 schoolchildren were included in the study, and all of them were either 12 or 15 years old. The data included ailments that had psychosomatic components, such as difficulty eating or an inability to concentrate. These answers were then correlated with their living situations.
The researchers discovered that on average, the lowest levels of psychosomatic complaints were found among the 69 percent of children living in a household with two parents. However, they were surprised to find a relatively large difference between the health of the 19 percent of children who had some sort of shared custody arrangement and the 13 percent of children who lived with one parent exclusively. Children who saw both parents on a day-to-day basis reported significantly fewer problems. Although the stress of having to balance joint custody may be real, the research seemed to strongly indicate that the health of children benefited directly from regular contact with both parents.
This study reinforces the notion that an equitable child custody arrangement is of critical importance to the child. If there is reason to update an obsolete child care plan or if there is controversy over the proper course of action between parties with custodial rights, then the assistance of a lawyer may be welcome. The lawyer may be able to help a client a reasonable agreement between the parties and offer the client representation in any court appearances.
Source: Time Magazine, “This Divorce Arrangement Stresses Kids Out Most,” Mandy Oaklander, April 27, 2015