Sole custody is harmful to children

Children in joint custody arrangements had less behavior and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements. And these children were as well-adjusted as intact family children on the same measures, said Bauserman, "probably because joint custody provides the child with an opportunity to have ongoing contact with both parents."  These findings indicate that children do not actually need to be in a joint physical custody to show better adjustment but just need to spend substantial time with both parents, especially with their fathers, said Bauserman. Also, joint custody couples reported less conflict, possibly because both parents could participate in their children's lives equally and not spend the time arguing over childcare decisions. Unfortunately a perception exists that joint custody is more harmful because it exposes children to ongoing parental conflict. In fact, the studies in this review found that sole-custody parents reported higher levels of conflict.  It is important to recognize that the results do not support joint custody in all situations. When one parent is abusive or neglectful or has a serious mental or physical health problem, sole-custody with the other parent would clearly be preferable,

Children in joint custody arrangements had less behavior and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements. And these children were as well-adjusted as intact family children on the same measures, said Bauserman, “probably because joint custody provides the child with an opportunity to have ongoing contact with both parents.”
These findings indicate that children do not actually need to be in a joint physical custody to show better adjustment but just need to spend substantial time with both parents, especially with their fathers, said Bauserman. Also, joint custody couples reported less conflict, possibly because both parents could participate in their children’s lives equally and not spend the time arguing over childcare decisions. Unfortunately a perception exists that joint custody is more harmful because it exposes children to ongoing parental conflict. In fact, the studies in this review found that sole-custody parents reported higher levels of conflict. It is important to recognize that the results do not support joint custody in all situations. When one parent is abusive or neglectful or has a serious mental or physical health problem, sole-custody with the other parent would clearly be preferable,

Why are shared care arrangements good for children? Why must the courts address parental alienation? Why is leave to remove invariably not in a child’s best interests? Why are overnights not harmful for very young children? Why is the traditional model of alternate weekend contact arrangements insufficient as a post separation child arrangements model?

The answers are in a wide body of research which should (but does not) form the basis of policy on post-separation child arrangements. If it did, shared parenting arrangements would be the norm.

Shared Parenting Research

sjop

BERGTROM ET AL 2014: MENTAL HEALTH IN SWEDISH CHILDREN LIVING IN JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY AND THEIR PARENTS’ LIFE SATISFACTION: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY

Summary of findings: In Sweden, joint physical custody is particularly common and concerns between 30% and 40% of the children with separated parents. Children with non-cohabitant parents experience more psychosomatic problems than those in nuclear families. Those in joint physical custody do however report better psychosomatic health than children living mostly or only with one…

warshak2014

WARSHAK 2014: SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PARENTING PLANS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: A CONSENSUS REPORT

Summary findings: the report ‘debunks’ what is commonly referred to as ‘attachment theory’, that infants form attachment relationships with a single caregiver before all other important relationships and that this first relationship serves as a foundation and template for all subsequent attachment bonds. Attachment theory has been used as a basis for opposition to overnight…

parkinson

PROFESSOR PARKINSON 2012: REFORMING THE CHILDREN ACT 1989: LEARNING FROM THE AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE

Summary of findings: In a speech at a conference organised by the International Family Law Group, Professor Parkinson of the Sydney Law School criticises the misrepresentation of outcomes from Australian family law reform by Norgrove’s Family Justice Review. Professor Parkinson is highly critical of representations made that a presumption of shared parenting resulted in an…

fabricius

FABRICIUS ET AL 2011: PARENTING TIME, PARENT CONFLICT, PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS, AND CHILDREN’S PHYSICAL HEALTH

Summary of findings: The study presents new data on the correlation between quantity of parenting time and quality of parent-child relationships in families with and without parental conflict. The report examines family relationships and children’s long term, stress-related physical health. The authors conclude that these new findings indicate that minimal parenting tie with gathers, for…

agoodchildhood

CHILDREN’S SOCIETY 2010: A GOOD CHILDHOOD: SEARCHING FOR VALUES IN A COMPETITIVE AGE

Summary of findings: Based on the experiences of 30,000 children, the research found that ‘a child’s performance at secondary school, self-esteem and well being as an adult is linked especially to the father’s input’ and ‘children are 40% more likely to suffer mental health problems when separated from their fathers’.  On average, ‘children are less…

fireseach

FATHERHOOD INSTITUTE 2010: FATHERS’ IMPACT ON THEIR CHILDREN’S LEARNING AND ACHIEVEMENT

Summary of findings: A review of various studies which confirm father involvement contributes positively to children’s schooling, educational attainment, behaviour and development. Download Report

wakeforestuniversity

WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY 2010: SHARED PARENTING: A REVIEW OF THE SUPPORTING RESEARCH

Summary of findings: The report echoes our own belief that many well meaning professionals, like many parents themselves, may not be familiar with the research on the benefits of shared parenting. The report contradicts a commonly held belief that it is that quality of parenting time more than quantity which secures child well-being. The report…

tcmsharedcareresearch

TCM 2010: RESEARCH SUPPORTING SHARED CARE

Our own collation of research findings from 2010, used in our efforts to see the reform of ‘leave to remove’ (relocation) related family law. Dowload Report

krukexecsummary2008

KRUK 2008: CHILD CUSTODY, ACCESS AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE SEARCH FOR A JUST AND EQUITABLE STANDARD

Summary finding: Sole maternal custody often leads to parental alienation and father absence, and father absence is associated with negative child outcomes. Eighty five per cent of youth in prison are fatherless; 71 per cent of high school dropouts are fatherless; 90 per cent of runaway children are fatherless; and fatherless youth exhibit higher levels…

dscf

2008 DSCF: THE IMPACT OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

Summary of Findings: Parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has a significant effect on educational achievement, and continues to do so into adolescence and adulthood. The quality and content of fathers’ involvement matter more for children’s outcomes than the quantity of time fathers spend with their children. Note, other research such as…

Unicef2007

UNICEF 2007: AN OVERVIEW OF CHILD WELL-BEING IN RICH COUNTRIES

Summary findings: The UK had the unhappiest children in the developed world (polling at the bottom of 21 countries). The three countries whose children came top of the well-being index had a presumption of shared parenting. Published by UNICEF in 2007. Download the report

uea2005

UEA 2005: SHARED CARING: BRINGING FATHERS INTO THE FRAME

Summary of findings: Time use studies consistently show that fathers, both resident and non-resident, are spending more time with their children, albeit still at a lower level than mothers. In dual full-time earner couples men spend about 75 per cent of women’s absolute time on childcare and other activities with dependent children. Studies assessing the…

dfes2003

DFES 2003: THE IMPACT OF PATERNAL INVOLVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S EDUCTION

Summary of Findings: Fathers play an extremely important role in their children’s lives and a plethora of research indicates that father involvement is significantly related to positive child outcomes. A father’s interest in a child’s schooling is strongly linked to educational outcomes for the child. Fathers who devote time to their sons are giving them…

Bauserman

BAUSERMAN 2002: CHILD ADJUSTMENT IN JOINT-CUSTODY VERSUS SOLE-CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT: A META ANALYTIC REVIEW

Summary finding: Children in joint custody arrangements fare significantly better on all adjustment measures than children who live in sole custody arrangements. The fact that joint custody couples also reported less current conflict is important because of perception that joint custody can be harmful by exposing children to ongoing parental conflict. In fact, it was…

Source: Shared Parenting Research | The Custody Minefield40eac-family2blaw2b-2bfathers2band2bfamilies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVnyQuyK_pk

Orders for shared residence/shared living arrangements can only be made when both parents agree to the order. Is this statement…

True
False

Orders for shared living arrangements (under a child arrangements order) cannot be made if the parents live in different countries. Is this statement…

True
False

The amount of time children spend in each parent’s household need not be near equal for an order for shared living arrangements to be made. Is this statement…

True
False

Having an order which grants you shared residence or residence gives you a greater legal right to be involved in decisions about the children’s schooling or medical treatment than if the court had awarded you contact?

True
False
Only if you otherwise did not have legal parental responsibility for the children.

It’s important when advancing an argument for shared living arrangements, that you draw the court’s attention to…

Such an order being in the specific child’s best interests and explaining why.
Such an order being fair to all parties, and respecting their Article 8 Human Right to Family Life.
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