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29 April 2015 0 Comments
Posted in Family, Opinion

Children of divorce should live with both parents

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

Children of divorce fare better when they spend time with both their parents, according to a new study.

That goes against some current thinking that youngsters in shared-custody situations are exposed to more stress due to constantly moving around and the social upheaval that can come along with that.

“Child experts and people in general assumed that these children should be more stressed,” says study author Malin Bergström, PhD, researcher at the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Stockholm, Sweden. “But this study opposes a major concern that this should not be good for children.”

Researchers examined data from almost 150,000 children who were either 12 or 15 years old. Sixty-nine per cent of them lived with married parents, 19 per cent spent time living with both parents and 13 per cent lived in a single parent household.

These living situations were compared against rates of “psychosomatic health problems”, such as trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, headaches, tension and sadness. The data showed that children who lived with married parents had the fewest instances of such problems.

Meanwhile, children of divorce who live with both parents exhibit significantly fewer of these problems than those who only live with one parent.

“We think that having everyday contact with both parents seems to be more important, in terms of stress, than living in two different homes,” says Bergström.

“It may be difficult to keep up on engaged parenting if you only see your child every second weekend.”

Having two parents also tends to double the number of resources a child is exposed to, including social circles, family and material goods like money.

“Only having access to half of that may make children more vulnerable or stressed than having it from both parents, even though they don’t live together,” she said.

To find out more about the family services we provide, please contact Patrick Hart from our Family Law team today.

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