coParenting Benefits: Shared Custody
The topic of shared parenting or equal shared custody is something we all support as coParents, but what are the benefits? This study states, there are lots.
Divorced and separated couples should always keep their child in mind, front and center. The study by Acta Pædiatrica shows that shared custody (50/50 custody) really helps young children. They focused on preschool children spending an equal amount of time in the homes of the mother and father. “Shared parenting,” or joint physical custody (JPC), the group explains, “refers to a practice where children with non-cohabiting parents live alternatively and about equally with both parents, for example, one week with one parent and the next week with the other parent.”
The children had less psychological problems (according to the study), compared to those kids who only lived and spent time with only one parent. Two involved coParents is what’s best (when possible and if possible of course).
The study’s parameters include:
- Joint physical custody (JPC) was questioned for only preschool kids (3,656 Swedish children between three and five years of age, living in two different homes)
- Psychological symptoms were analyzed
- JPC children had similar levels of psychological symptoms as those living with married parents
Julia Weber, JD, MSW, solves issues facing coParents, families and children. Weber commented on the study, stating, “When it’s safe, a child spending time with both parents and all caregivers, generally makes a lot of sense.”
So how do coParents make this 50/50 parenting plan work? Weber says:
“Take into consideration schedules for parents and activities; schools and time the child spends with friends, depending on the child’s age. Fair may be different depending on a lot of different factors. Keep conflict low, ask for help when you need it, and remember: your child picks up on what’s happening when you criticize the other parent. They are likely to blame themselves or hear the criticism as including who they are as well, so try to avoid negative comments as much as possible.”