Children of Divorce Are Often Less Stressed If They Spend Time at Both Parents’ Homes
Parents often worry about how their children will cope with divorce. Most do everything they can to smooth the transition, but they do not always know if they are making the right choices. For example, how do parents decide where the child will live? How much time should they be spending with each parent? Should they switch houses every weekend, or is that too much?
The answers to most of these questions are circumstantial and can only be answered by the parents themselves. However, one study does suggest that children fare better if they spend time living with each of their parents. Furthermore, children seem to cope best when their schedule for switching homes is somewhat consistent.
Switching Homes Less Stressful Than Initially Thought
At first glance, the constant switching of homes after divorce might seem more stressful for children, and former studies have suggested as much. However, a recent study from the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggests quite the opposite. In fact, when examining children from divorced families in Sweden, children showed fewer signs of stress (loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and general sadness) when they spent time living with both of their parents than they did if they lived primarily with one parent. Why is this information different than what was found in previous studies? Experts believe it may have something to do with the improvements made to family law.
Fathers' Rights and Consistent Schedules Becoming More Common
There was a time when mothers were generally made the primary or sole custodian. Yet, as studies began to emerge on children of divorce, it became apparent that fathers are just as important to the emotional, psychological, and social development of children. Fathers slowly started receiving more rights. Now there are cases in which the father has the greater allotment of parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities. This does not mean that mothers are being edged out; lawmakers have simply recognized that, when it comes to raising children, two parents are generally better than one.
Recognition of paternal importance is not the only improvement in divorce. Parenting time schedules have also become more consistent. More often than not, each parent has a designated time with their child. It might be every weekend and two weeks out of the summer, it might be an almost even split, or it could be any variation in between. Whatever the schedule is, children know it, parents know it, and everyone is (for the most part) diligent in adhering to that schedule. This helps children know what to expect and reduces the risk of emotional stress of wondering when they will see or spend time with their other parent.
Need Help with Your Parenting Plan? Contact Our Kane County Family Law Attorneys
At MKFM Law, we have helped hundreds of families create personalized parenting plans. Wholly committed to preserving the best interests of children and ensuring you receive the parental rights you deserve, we can help protect and preserve your child-parent relationship. Schedule a consultation with our Kane County family law attorneys today to learn more. Call 630-665-7300 for an appointment.