New Study Sheds Light on Mental Health of Youth with Shared Residency after Parents’ Divorce
A new study released on January 16th indicates that youth who have access to shared residency (versus other types of arrangements) suffer from fewer mental problems after their parents get divorced. The study was released by the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Uni Research Health.
The researchers specifically found that youth with shared residency after divorce reported fewer mental health issues than those who lived with one parent or as part of a stepfamily. In addition, the study also indicated that youth living in a joint residency did not report more mental problems than those living with two non-divorced parents—a surprising discovery the researchers involved were not necessarily expecting.
Shared Residency On The Rise
We previously discussed that more and more states are promoting shared child custody (versus children having one primary residence) under the premise that children benefit from having both an active mother and father (or otherwise both parents) in their lives. This trend seems to reflect global choices as well, as this study noted a significant increase in the number of parents actively choosing shared residency schemes for their children after divorce; with the child spending just much time with their mother as with their father.
Still, there are some who cling to older notions that a child vacillating between two residences will be negatively affected by this kind of constant shift. Yet, in reality, there has been very little to no data supporting this contention.
Best Interest of the Child Always Trumps
While new research like this is important in helping to educate and provide guidance to parents seeking the very best for their children in times of divorce, still, states like Florida prioritize the best interest of the child. This means that the court will order sole parental responsibility for a minor—with or without time-sharing with the other parent—if that is what is in the best interests of the child. In order to make this determination, the court looks at various factors, including but not limited to:
- The capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with the child and honor timesharing, with appropriate flexibility;
- The anticipated division of parental responsibilities;
- The capacity of each parent to put the child first above their own needs;
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment and any desire to remain in that environment;
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan; and
- The moral, mental, and physical fitness of the parents; amongst other important factors listed here.
Florida Child Custody & Divorce Lawyers Serving Orlando & Surrounding Areas
If you live in Florida and need assistance with divorce, child custody or time sharing issues, and/or any family law issue, contact the experienced Orlando family law attorneys at the Arwani Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation. We are here to help you and your family.