On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
A 2017 study involving 3,656 children revealed girls and boys between 3-5 years of age show greater psychological stability when both parents share parenting time equally as opposed to having more time with one parent. Uppsala Universitet, who conducted this study in Swedish children, further concluded that behavior issues decreased significantly when both parents remained equally involved.
This European study translates well into American culture due to a large number of divorce filings involving children in Florida alone. Problem with Western culture, however, is many parents aren’t available – or emotionally fit – to handle joint custody agreements.
Nuclear families across America provide ‘baseline’ formatting for judges weighing socioeconomic and psychological factors to determine children’s best interests. The formula doesn’t fit every child custody situation, but it does provide hope that single-parent households can operate in similar fashion to wholesome family units.
Joint parental custody fills the need for continuity
Two-parent homes, while not flawless by any measure, create an environment of social stability. Children grow with both mom and dad, regardless if cohabiting or actively married. Taking one parent away from the home children reside in, then chiding that parent’s request for equal involvement, creates an environment of potential conflict, social maladjustment issues and contributes to subjugated emotional health in children.
It’s understandable when marriages or cohabitations don’t pan out. Keeping an equal parenting schedule, however, strengthens continuity that children once enjoyed when both parents lived under the same roof. Stabilized moods, better school performance, and overall physical well-being can be expected when joint parenting arrangements are agreed to.
Shared parenting time increases financial support
Child custody is an exclusive component of the family law, much like child support. Thinking of withholding children from other parents because of financial shortcomings? Consult with your Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney first, as this could lead to contempt charges.
However contentious one may find child support, or no matter how far in arrears the other parent falls, one should never deny their child emotional growth offered by another parent.
With that said, this study concluded that joint custody agreements which are judiciously followed increase the likelihood the parent ordered to pay child support stays at or above board in maintaining financial responsibilities. If you’re one to stay abreast of current legislation, you probably know many states are starting to draw the same conclusion.
Co-parenting is necessary during ‘discovery’ years
Because this study sampled children between ages 3 and 5, the Swedish university reminded us that children of early age rely on both parents’ emotional support during these discovery years. Children naturally gravitate toward mom because women have that nurturing instinct that comes with carrying, then birthing, our young. However, children quickly learn through careful study that dad plays an integral role in their life; once children begin walking and learning right from wrong, their understanding of ‘dad’ strengthens along with their need to learn from him.
Confusion may happen when mother denies father, or vice-versa, frequent interaction with children during these initial growth stages. The child may see this strange man or woman occasionally come around, sense something isn’t right, and suddenly fear the very person that helped create them.
To make co-parenting work, according to one Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney, it’s necessary for mom and dad to maintain strong relational ties.
This study obviously didn’t account for older ages because children often form their own opinion as their understanding of society grows. Teens, for example, either have close relationships with parents in separate homes or have little contact with one parent and simply don’t care.
Going over this study, one will see how young boys and girls rely on consistent emotional involvement, an imperative component of child development in today’s world. To achieve this stability, both parents need to work together to forge an easy-to-follow joint custody plan.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of joint custody, contact your Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney.