Study Shows that Shared Custody Benefits Children Most

Despite many divorcing parents’ concerns about their children’s adjustment and well-being, a new study published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that children of divorced parents demonstrate higher levels of mental health in a shared custody arrangement than when they live with only one parent after divorce.


This study, entitled “Fifty Moves a Year: Is There an Association Between Joint Physical Custody and Psychosomatic Problems in Children?” analyzes stress symptoms of children in nuclear families, children in shared custody arrangements, and children in single-parent households. Children who split their time between two parents demonstrated lower levels of stress, sleeplessness, difficulty concentrating, and other stress indicators than children living with one parent after separation.


These results challenge conventional thought that stability and permanence are crucial factors contributing to children’s well-being. Its authors have concluded that “stability in the child’s parents’ relations is more important than stability in housing.” Past research has also suggested that children are more stressed by being aware of their parents fighting than by a separation or divorce. These studies can be helpful for parents making custody decisions who seek to prioritize their children’s mental health.


“The Divorce Custody Arrangement That Benefits Kids Most”