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California family lawyerDuring their parents’ divorce, children often experience a great deal of emotional turmoil, and the stress of living in a high-conflict home, uncertainty about the future, and difficulty adjusting to new living arrangements can lead to short-term and long-term physical and mental health issues. Even though parents may disagree about who will have legal and physical custody of their children, they should be able to work together to put their children’s best interests first. When doing so, they should consider recent research which shows that children often fare best in shared custody situations in which they spend near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

Research on Shared Parenting

Until recently, it was often considered best for children to primarily live with one parent after divorce, and experts believed that the stability of a single home was preferable to adjusting to living in two homes. However, a number of recent studies have countered these assumptions and found that children often benefit from sharing time with both parents. Findings of these studies include:

  • Regardless of the level of contentiousness between parents during their divorce, children in shared custody situations (in which they live with each parent at least 35% of the time) experienced less stress than those who live primarily with one parent.
  • When children live in shared parenting situations, they tend to have better relationships with their parents, step-parents, and grandparents.
  • Children in shared custody families show better academic achievement and emotional health.
  • Children in shared parenting situations experience fewer behavioral problems, such as juvenile delinquency, misbehavior in school, bullying, or use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
  • While many believe that infants and toddlers should primarily reside with their mothers, studies found that their bonds with both parents do not suffer when mothers and fathers share overnight parenting time.
  • The level of parental conflict tends to be a separate issue from parenting time. Children experience benefits from shared parenting, even in high-conflict situations, including when one parent objects to a shared parenting situation.
  • The benefits of shared parenting are not related to parents’ income level.

Ultimately, shared parenting allows children to have a close, ongoing relationship with both parents, and the benefits of these bonds outweigh the problems caused by conflict between parents. While parents should strive to keep their children from being caught in the middle of their disagreements, they should also understand the importance of being a primary figure in their kids’ lives.


Contact a Los Gatos, CA Child Custody Lawyer

In modern divorces, child custody arrangements often reflect the nature of how today’s parents care for their children, with both parents participating closely in guiding their children’s development. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can help you create a child custody agreement which will protect your children’s best interests and help them thrive following your divorce. Contact a Los Gatos family law attorney at 408-395-8822 to schedule a free consultation.

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California family law attorney, California child custody lawyerBird nesting sounds like an idea meant for the local birdwatching hobbyists. However, it is actually a fairly new concept in child custody arrangements. It is a viable option for parents wishing to make the child custody and visitation arrangements as easy as possible for the children. While no situation is perfect for every custodial situation, this one may be a concept that should be considered by more families.

What Is Bird Nesting?

Bird nesting is a co-parenting solution that is extremely and uniquely centered around the children involved. Often times, divorce and custody situations can be painful and traumatic for everyone, especially for children. In most situations, children are moved around and often move several times during a year between two houses. They have two sets of friends, two bedrooms, etc. This new idea allows the children to stay in their home, and the parents move in and out of the house. Think of the adult birds leaving the nest, coming back and forth to the nest. The arrangement may be permanent or temporary.  The idea here is to create an easier life for the children and therefore both parents must agree to make the sacrifices necessary, even it if means making their own lives a bit more difficult.

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