As a divorced father, the biggest question you may ask in a child custody dispute is what is really best for your child. You care about them. You care about their health, wellness and happiness. What can you do to seek that out every step of the way?
One thing you can do is work toward a joint custody solution. Many studies have found that this is better for the children on a lot of levels. It helps them develop. It gives them a strong relationship with both parents. It helps them adjust to life after the divorce. It keeps them happier and gives them the same opportunities as children whose parents are still married.
Interestingly, though, recent studies have shown that it is also better for your child’s health.
Fewer health problems
The study in question involved 150,000 children. The youngest ones were 12 years old and the oldest were 15. When talking to them, researchers simply asked how often they had physical health problems or psychological issues that came up.
The results indicated that the best situation, as you may have guessed, is for children to have both parents in the same home. However, this is assuming that those parents are happily married. It is all too clear that children should not be forced to live with two parents who are at odds, or it can introduce a lot of stress into their lives.
That’s why it’s important to note that the children who were “a close second” were those with divorced or unmarried parents who had joint custody. They still got to see both of their parents. They may not have lived in the same home with each of them all the time, but they did spend time in each parent’s home. They had those connections and relationships.
When children lived with a single parent and not the other, they had far more stress-related health issues. Some reported physical ailments, like stomach aches. Others reported that they found it hard to get to sleep at night. Still others reported a general sense of sadness that could link to depression.
If your marriage ends and you still want to put your kids first, isn’t their health one of the main areas you need to focus on? Shouldn’t that be one of your primary goals?
As this study showed, that means respecting the rights of both parents, including the fathers. They need equal time with the children. Those children also need that time with both parents. Adults who are in custody battles need to carefully consider all of their options as they seek the proper solutions.