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Children in joint custody arrangements report fewer health ailments

Many parents who divorce or separate have problems communicating with or getting along with an ex. Too often, parents allow their co-parenting relationships to be poisoned by hard feelings and resentment. In the end, it's a shared child who ultimately loses out as one parent may seek to limit the other's involvement or access to a child.

When it comes to child custody disputes, emotions often run high and parents disagree about what's best for a child. However, for the sake of a shared child, parents would be wise to set aside their own personal feelings and resentments and work towards establishing an effective co-parenting relationship. The findings of a recent Swedish study help prove just how important it is for a child to have both parents actively involved in his or her life.

Approximately 150,000 12 and 15-year-old children were surveyed for the Swedish study which aimed to examine the impact that time spent with both parents has on a child's health. While researchers noted that all children whose parents were divorced or separated reported more health problems, those in joint child custody agreements reported significantly less problems than those who lived with only one parent.

Parenting is a difficult job and children look to and depend upon their parents to provide love, support, security, attention and guidance. In cases where a child must rely primarily or solely upon one parent to provide these important needs, he or she appears more likely to suffer mental stress which manifests into physical ailments.

In some cases, a joint custody arrangement isn't possible. However, in cases where both parents are present and want to be involved in a child's life and upbringing, parents owe it to their child to work together and provide a child with the love, support and attention he or she needs to succeed.

Source: Goodtherapy.org, "Joint Custody Is Better for Kids’ Health, Study Suggests," Zawn Villnes, April 29, 2015