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Research on shared custody

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  • Research on shared custody

    I'm looking for research from a credible source to say which custody arrangement is best.

    I'd like something from someone like the American Pediatric Association or the American Psychology or New England Journal of Medicine.

    There is plenty of statistics on how well the children grow up, and I've seen statistics to prove that sole custody is better and I've seen some that support shared custody.

    My ex is stating that it's unhealthy for a child to go a week on/week off when she starts school. And, I would just like a professional research report to counter this.

  • #2
    I don't have any research, although I would also love to see some and I'll pass some on if I find any.

    I will say as a parent that children are very adaptable. Comparing one type of arrangement to another, yes one might be 1% better but a child can thrive in either. Or they could suffer in both. The bigger factor is how the parents deal with it, do the parents actually want it to succeed, and is there love and support and a minimum of infighting between the parents?

    I'd also say that for children, time drags on much more, the younger we are. When we are 5, waiting an hour for an adult to get ready to go seems like forever, while for the adult it is busy busy and the time goes in an instant. For a child, a week is a long long time, not just in their perception, but also in how much they will grow and learn and change in that time. A young child will grow more brain cells in a week, and learn concepts and develop personality. For an adult, we change little over several years in comparison.

    I know that in our houses, my 12 year old would be unhappy with a week/week schedule but she would cope and adapt and eventually would be fine. My 5 year old would be miserable, because it is too long and he would miss us both. Things would change too much for him in a week, and the time would seem like forever. For him, our 2 day/2 day schedule is working fine, that doesn't mean it is best, but it is working fine. 3 day or 4 day would also be good for him, I think, going by his personality.

    I'll also note that he just getting to an age where he can hold a 15 second phone conversation with me, and he enjoys the concept but it isn't actual time together. My 12 year old and I can have a nice chat on off days, and we have talked about web cams. She even enjoys texting me when we are in the same room! There are more options when they are older, but I think at kindergarten age you can't really make up for days apart with phone calls or letters.


    • #3
      Thanks. I plan on doing some research an evening that I don't have my daughter.

      I have an interesting pdf document that explains how each age group copes with separation, and the length of time that is appropriate to be separate from each parent.

      Our daughter is 2 years old and we do a maximum of 4 or 5 days away from each parent, and it seems to work very well for her.

      I've read numerous places that kids need stability, and stability does not mean one house, it means a regular schedule and loving parents. If this is two parents, it is fine, it can still be stable.


      • #4
        Foredeck, your PDF sounds very interesting. Can you tell me where you got it?


        • #5
          I found it on the Association o Family and Conciliation Courts website.

          AFCC - The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

          It's not about going shared versus full custody, they assume you've decided to go with shared custody and trying to find a schedule.

          It's an interesting read.


          • #6
            I'll be reviewing that pdf immediately. I too am in need of credible sources to quote come trial.

            I have attended a couple of 'parenting after seperation' seminars that are offered here in Hamilton. According to these seminars, stablity is the same as routine. That is to say tw loving homes for the child to go back and forth to on a week-about basis is just fine. The assumption being that it is a regular routine that is followed, and not all made up on the fly with no consistancy in visitation days and such.

            Of course, they did mention that there are different issues for different age groups, and my son being 4 years old is the information I focused on.

            PLease let me know should you find any more materials, Foredeck. I, in turn, will do the same.


            • #7
              would you guys keep me in the loop as well? thanks!


              • #8

                Have you read:



                BLANKET RESTRICTIONS Overnight Contact Between Parents and Young Children by Richard A. Warshak

                There are suggestions in both these documents on what types of schedules work for children and why shared custody is important.

                I have these PDFs if you want them. I'm not sure how to send them to you, but let me know.



                • #9
                  Type "Edward Kruk" into google. He is a prominent University professor who has published many extremely well researched studies into shared custody.


                  • #10
                    Here is the link to his work

                    View topic (Shared Parenting: Child Custody, Access, and Parental Responsibility)


                    • #11
                      While the pdf makes suggestions keep in mind that it depends on the children too.

                      My daughters were 3 and 4 when we separated. We started with every other day/every other weekend but it was hell on the girls. They were constantly changing homes and never got 'settled' in. It just wasn't a long enough time for them and it showed in their behaviour. We then went to a 2/2/3 day split and again, it was too short. Eventually we switched to week to week. It works very well. The girls are always excited by the end of the week to go to the next parent's home and they have time to feel settled at one spot before moving on. The seem much happier now. However, they also are very close in age and have each other which I think adds stability to the back and forth.

                      My ex and I also do not get a long at all. We now communicate (out of necessity) only through email and the occasional text. We don't go physically near each other at all. This arrangement has made things much better strangely enough as there is now a lot less conflict to deal with. This is contrary to what most studies say about shared parenting, I think.

                      The only real issue is school. Sometimes we are each unaware of what is going on because we miss notes or trip forms, etc. I recently set up a google calendar that we can share which I'm hoping will help with some of that.

                      The bottom line is you should what YOU believe is in the best interest of your daughter. You know her best.


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