New Jersey parents may be interested in some research out of Sweden that may shed light on the best course of action regarding child custody issues. The study looked at the amount of stress that children in different custody arrangements faced, with surprising results.
When parents are going through a child custody dispute during their divorce, it is often difficult to know what type of arrangement is in the best interests of the child. Often, parents believe that having a joint custody situation where the child spends time with each parent can cause undue stress on the child. A study out of Stockholm's Centre for Health Equity Studies, however, questions this notion. The researchers examined data from 150,000 children, either 12 or 15 years old. While most of the children lived in a traditional nuclear family, 19 percent divided their time between each divorced parent and 13 percent lived only with one divorced parent.
The researchers looked at the children's reported psychosomatic health issues, such as headaches, sleep issues and issues with concentrating. While the lowest amount of psychosomatic symptoms were found in those living in traditional nuclear families, the children who lived with both parents separately actually showed less symptoms than those living with only one parent. While sleep issues were the major reported problem, females who were studied show more symptoms than their male counterparts. Sadness was the major symptom reported by the girls.
When deciding what child custody arrangement best preserves a divorcing parent's relationship with children, an attorney may be able to help. The attorney may be of assistance in negotiating a parenting plan with the other parent that will meet the approval of the court.