When you are working on your child custody plans, it is important to know that virtually all experts agree that children do best when:
(a) their parents get along well; and
(b) the children feel that they are being parented together by both mom and dad, as a team.
How you get to this point has much less impact on your children’s well-being than that you find your way there.
This article offers a compilation of recent research and conclusions that I have read and heard time and again during the many years that I have been working in the family law and mediation field. These findings are not, however, always representative of what is going on in the courts. Instead, these findings are more representative of what neuroscientists, human development experts and psychologists are finding to be true about the effect of various parenting arrangements on children of divorce. Judges and lawyers are not always as up-to-date on matters concerning the best interest of children as you might think they would be.
When establishing a child custody plan, it is important to customize your parenting arrangements in a way that best:
(a) fits your child’s present needs;
(b) bolsters your child’s sense of security; and
(c) helps in the development of your child’s relationship skills (for both the present and the future).
When crafting your parenting arrangements, many clinicians will tell you that children do not count days or hours. They count quality of time. Bickering over make-up time and ensuring a quantifiable 50/50 split, for example, does little to assist your child in becoming a happy, emotionally healthy and balanced human being.
Children will remember the squabbling; but not the number of “missed days” with Mom or with Dad.