There is still a question for many as to whether children, especially infants and toddlers, do better with just their mother having sole custody or with the father and mother having 50-50 joint custody. Prohibitions have previously been given on young children spending overnight time under the care of their fathers. California residents may be interested in knowing more about the latest understandings of child development in connection with child custody.
The latest understandings in child development prove that joint custody is the best option, even for young children. Unless one parent has proven to be abusive or neglectful, children who grow up in shared parenting or joint custody situations do better than children in sole physical custody families.
Children in these shared parenting situations have fewer stress-related illnesses and better physical health. They also have better emotional health and greater overall satisfaction in life. Behavioral problems, including delinquency, smoking, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse are seen less in children who grow up under the care of both of their parents. They also perform better academically and have better relationships with others.
One significant problem that can arise when one parent has sole custody of the children is that the relationship with the other parent is often irreparably damaged. Since mothers are often given sole custody, the father-child relationship can be damaged for a number of reasons, including the father believing he is not important to his children, the father experiencing emotional pain because of only seeing his children on rare occasions, or because the mother has turned the children away from the father.
Parents who are seeking a divorce and have questions about child custody may opt to contact a family law attorney. The attorney might represent a parent in child custody hearings or divorce proceedings, draw up legal documents, and provide advice for their client in practical issues that may arise during the divorce process.