Researchers have conducted studies that have asked children how they feel about shared parenting. These studies asked both children who are currently living in shared parenting families and young adults that previously lived in shared parenting families if shared parenting was disruptive to their experience. Participants ranged from young children to young people in their early adult years. What these children are telling us is, yes, it was a hassle. You're living in two homes. That's a hassle. however, going to visit a parent every other weekend is a hassle. You still have to pack up your stuff. You still have to tell your friends where you are. You're still going to forget something at the other house. So they're saying yes, it was a hassle. You know what? Your parents' divorce is a hassle. The whole thing is a hassle. But what they're telling us is, the disadvantage, the hassle of living in two homes, was worth it. The benefits that flow from a strong relationship with both parents far outweighs any hassle. It's a trade-off, and the kids are telling us the trade-off was worth it, a small cost for a large long term gain.
Shared parenting was compared with the other group of kids who live with one parent under the cookie cutter, one size fits all, every other weekend, with some Wednesday nights "visitation". Researchers asked these kids, "how did you feel about your custody/parenting time situation?" "Do you think that it is in your best interest?" Research compiled over three decades shows that kids do not like the "standard" plan. They want both of their parents.
Children are right to resist sole parent plans. The research shows that shared parenting among fit parents is not just satisfying for children, it also gets better outcomes. Children who have significant relationships with both parents are better adjusted and more likely to succeed in life.
* The scientific research - there are 40 studies that have been peer-reviewed and published in academic journals over the past 25 years comparing two family types: (1) sole custody and (2) shared parenting.
The 40 studies contain research conducted and/or endorsed by 112 experts in the field of children's well-being and child custody. The studies followed more than 250,000 children and found better outcomes for children in shared parenting situations. The scientists determined that children in shared custody, who spent at least 35 to 50% of the time achieved the best results.