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since June 19, 2001


Shared Parenting is Beneficial for Children!

Material for letter-writing and for affidavits

Subject:      Reasons joint parenting (custody & residency) is good for children
    Date:      Sat, 17 Oct 1998 20:06:14 +1000
    From:     [not shown]

Gidday, fwd fyi.

Below is a list of some statements and research supporting joint parenting.

Earlier last year I had a more comprehensive list than this but can no longer find it.  I found the list useful in justifying and countering the arguments of Mrs XX and those (mainly women and 'mothers') she gathered about her who were advising her that joint parenting and living in dual households would be harmful for our daughter.

While I believe us all living in the one household would have been best, I believe the current arrangement works in the 'best interests of the child' and is by far better for our daughter's development and mental health.


PS The info below is unverified by me and was posted in the SOC.WOMEN newsgroup in response to a provocative and vilifying post by a well-known crusading anti-male and anti-father feminist lawyer in the USA (Liz Kates, Florida) called "WHY JOINT CUSTODY IS BAD FOR CHILDREN".

On 16 Oct 1998 in soc.women <kelly@space.mit.edu> (Kathi Kelly) wrote:

Here are some cites that tell the other side of the JC issue:


The following compilation is w/thanks to James Buster, Mark Jebens and others.

According to a 1996 Gallup Poll, 79.1% of Americans feel "the most significant family or social problem facing America is the physical absence of the father from the home." The percentage of respondents who felt this way in 1992 was 69.9.

Source(s): Gallup Poll, 1996, National Center for Fathering, quoted in "Father Figures," Today's Father 4, no. 1 (1996).

"There is some evidence that in our well-meaning efforts to save children in the immediate post-separation period from anxiety, confusion, and the normative divorce-engendered conflict, we have set the stage in the longer run for the more ominous symptoms of anger, depression, and a deep sense of loss by depriving the child of the opportunity to maintain a full relationship with each parent."

Source: Examining resistance to Joint Custody, Monogrpah by Joan Kelly, Ph.D. (associate of Judith Wallerstein, Ph.D.)  From  "Joint Custody and Shared Parenting", second  edition, Guilford Press, 1991.

"Consistent with other studies of joint and sole custody [citations], our joint legal and residential noncustodians were decidedly more involved with their children following divorce than were noncustodians in sole custody arrangements. . . . Lastly, respondants in joint custody arrangements were more apt to perceive their exsopuse as having a good relationship with the children and to report satisfaction with that person's performance as a parent."

" . . . conflict between divorcing parents in our sample did not appear to worsen as a result of the increased demand for interparental cooperation and communication in joint legal or joint residential custody arrangements. To the contrary, parents with sole maternal custody reported the greatest deterioration in the relationships over time."

Source: Custody After Divorce: Demographic and Attitudinal Patterns, J. Pearson and N. Thoennes, Journal of American Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 60, 1990

Study sample size is 418 couples (each having one or more children), in various custody arrangements. Longitidunal in nature.

"When the noncustodial parent perceives more control, it does not mean that the custodial parent will necessarily perceive less. To the contrary, we previously found (Bay & Braver, 1990) that custodial parents' and noncustodial parents' perceptions of control are significantly positively correltated."

Source: A Longitudal Study of Noncustodial Parents: Parents without Children, Braver, Wolchik, Sandler, Sheets, Fogas and Bay, Journal of Family Psychology, 1993

Study consisted of 378 families; some with unmatched partners, in various custody arrangements.

". . .Sharlene Wolchik, Iwrin Sandler and I found in 1985 that children in joint custody had higher feelings of self-worth than children in sole maternal custody."

"Our results showed considerable benefits for joint custody, even when equating predisposing factors. After this adjustment, children in joint custody were found to be significantly better adjusted, and to exhibit less antisocial and implulsive behavior than sole custody families. Fathers also visited more, and were more involved in child care, as well as more satisfied with the divorce settlement. Mothers, however, were significantly less sataisfied with the custody arrangements in joint custody families."

"When the couple disagrees initially, which is better for the family, for the father to get his preference (joint [custody]) or for the mother to get her preference (sole [custody])? We found that the groups differed significantly in terms of how much financial child support was paid: when sole custody was that arrangement despite the fathers' wishes, 80% was paid (according to what the father reported; the figure was 64% by mothers' report), while when joint custody was awarded despite the mothers' preference, it zoomed to almost perfect comliance (97% by fathers' report; 94% by mothers' report) . . . A similar relationship was found for fathers' contact with the child. It was significantly highest for the group in which joint custody was awarded despite the mothers' preference."

"Joint custody, even when awarded despite the contrary preference of the mother, leads to more involved fathers, and almost perfect of financial child support; controlling for predisposing factors, it leads to better adjusted children. . . We belive these findings call for policy makers, in the best interest of the children, to adopt a presumption that is
rebuttable for joint legal custody, that is, a judicial preference that both parents retain their right and responsibilities toward their children post divorce."

Source: Determining the Impact of Joint Custody on Divorcing Families, Sanford Braver, Associate Professor of Psychology, Arizona State University.)

Same samples from the study cited directly above:

"Higher self-esteem was not the only advantage enjoyed by children growing up with joint custody. These youngsters also had more positive attitudes about the impact of the divorce on their lives. Joint-custody boys in particular had fewer negative experiences to report about the divorce than did mother-custody boys. The only other report that compared the attitudes of joint-custody children with those in sole-custody found the identical result: Joint-custody children were more satisfied with their living arrangements."

Source: The Custody Revolution, R. Warshak, Poseidon Press, 1992

"In 21 of 27 social adjustment measures and 8 of 9 academic measures, children of divorce show lower performance than children in two parent families. The results were far more pronounced for boys, than for girls."

Source: Nationwide Impact on Children of Divorce Study, John Guidubaldi, Ph.D., former President, School Psychologists Association

"A child living with his/her divorced mother, compared to a child living with both parents is 375% more likely to need professional treatment for emotional or behavioral problems and is almost twice as likely to repeat a grade of school, is more likely to suffer chronic asthma, frequent headaches, and/or bedwetting, develop a stammer or speech defect, suffer from anxiety or depression, and be diagnosed as hyperactive."

National Center for Health Statistics

"55.3% of children living with divorced mothers and 59.2% of children living with remarried mothers, suffer from anxiety or depression."

National Center for Health Statistics

"Children who live in single mother households receive less adult supervision and attention."

Source: Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991, (pg. 79, Col. 1, 1, Lines 13 - 15)

"One clear message from the accumulated divorce research is that children profit by continued exposure to both parents"

Source: Visitation and the Noncustodial Father - Mary Ann P. Koch, Carol R. Lowery, Journal of Divorce, Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter 1984, (pg. 61, 1, lines 1 - 3)

"Children who were able to maintain post-divorce relationships with both parents were better able to adjust to the divorce."

Source: Visitation and the Noncustodial Father - Mary Ann P. Koch, Carol R. Lowery, Journal of Divorce, Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter 1984, (pg. 50, 3, lines 5 - 7)

"Children recover more rapidly from the emotional trauma of parents' separation when they maintain close ties with their fathers."

Source: Family Ties after Divorce: The Relationship Between Visiting and Paying Support - Judith A. Seltzer, Nora Shaeffer, Hong-wen Charing, University of Wiscons, Journal of Marriage & the Family, Vol. 51, No. 4, November 1989. (pg. 1013, Col. 2, 2, lines 13 - 24 continued on pg. 1 014, Col. 1, 1, lines 1)

"When both parents share the social and economic responsibilities of child care, children appear to adapt better to their changed living arrangements than when mothers bear these responsibilities alone."

Source: Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991, (pg. 79, Col. 1, 1, Lines 18 - 24)

"Friendliness [between parents] increased with greater contact frequency"

Source: Post-divorce Relationships between Ex-Spouses: The Roles of Attachment and Interpersonal Conflict - Carol Masheter, University of Utah, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Volume 53, (February 1991): 103 110

Wise v. Bravo, 666 F2d 1328, 1336, 1338 (1981) -- "The right to a relationship with one's child is not created either by the Constitution or by state statute,  it is one of those fundamental, inherent rights of every individual that predates both the federal Constitution and the state laws.  As such it is protected by the due process clause of the Constitution."

Mabra v. Schmidt, 356 F.Supp. 620, 651 (1973) -- "I conclude that a father enjoys a right to associate with his children; that this right is guaranteed by the First Amendment as incorporated in the Fourteenth; alternatively, that this right is embodied in the concept of 'liberty' as that word is used in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and that, whatever the constitutional provision or provisions by which it is protected, the right is fundamental." (italics added)

Franz v. U.S., 707 F.2d 582 (1983) -- "It is beyond dispute that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Constitution. Among the most important of the liberties accorded this special treatment is the freedom of a parent and child to maintain, cultivate, and mold their ongoing relationship." (footnotes and citation omitted)

2001 02 05 (format changes)