A recent study says that sharing the parenting responsibilities as close to equal is preferable. These days, parents here in Texas and elsewhere who are in the process of a divorce often prefer to try to work out a joint custody arrangement that allows each parent as much time as possible with the children. The research shows that this type of arrangement is more beneficial for children and the parents.
It is taking the courts longer to come to this realization. When it comes to younger children — infants and toddlers especially — a court may still tend to prefer a primary custodial parent and a non-custodial parent who receives visitation. However, the research shows that even these children receive more benefit from a shared parenting arrangement.
The better a child’s relationship is with both parents, the better mentally and physically adjusted they seem to be in young adulthood. The children also enjoyed better relationships with both parents later in life. The conclusions were the same regardless of whether a couple devised their own shared custody plan or one parent initially objected to the arrangement. As an aside, it was determined that parents who shared custody of their children saw a decrease in their interpersonal conflict as well, which only further benefits the children over time.
A divorce might be the end of the marital relationship, but their children will always bind a Texas couple. Determining an arrangement that provides the children with the best relationship possible with each parent should also be the goal of the courts. Until that becomes the norm, it is up to the parents to put their children first and put aside their differences in order to continue being the best parents possible.
Source: lifezette.com, “Shared Parenting After Divorce Gains New Attention“, Benjamin Kain, Feb. 23, 2017