Tennessee parents who are facing a divorce are understandably interested in how the divorce could impact their children. In some cases, a wife may be encouraged by her lawyer to seek sole custody of the children. This may be done even though the father is active in the children’s life and values his relationship with the children.
In the past, the argument was made that it was in the best interests of the children to be with their mothers. Some believed that children spending time with the father, especially overnight, could lead to emotional and behavioral challenges. Because of this belief, some mothers vehemently fought to have full custody of the children. However, the fathers were not in agreement with this assessment.
There have been a number of studies published analyzing the effects that shared parenting versus mono parenting has on children following a divorce. Evidence points to the fact that children of all ages benefit from a shared parenting environment. This includes infants and toddlers spending time overnight with their fathers. The old preconceptions aren’t consistent with modern research on how children develop.
An exception to this would be cases where a parent was abusive or neglectful. Barring this circumstance, evidence points to the fact that children with shared parenting do better. They have improved academic outcomes, improved emotional health, fewer cases of self-esteem problems and depression, and have an overall increased satisfaction with life. Studies show that children of divorced parents who spend time with both parents are less likely to be involved in behavioral challenges, such as alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
In divorce cases where one parent is fighting for sole custody, a family law attorney may help the client by helping them draw up visitation schedules in custody cases and representing the client in custody hearings, arguing that he or she is fit to serve as a parent and that having them in their child’s life is in the best interests of the children involved.