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Shared visitation and residency -- pros and cons researched

Illinois parents who are considering divorce may be interested in the findings of a reputable international research company. After studying approximately 7,700 children, they confirmed what many family law professionals believed. Children who get to share the residences, love and attention of both parents after a divorce manage to go through life with fewer mental problems than the children of people with other residency and visitation arrangements.

The researchers further found that children who live primarily with one single parent, or those who live with a stepfamily, reported more mental issues than children with shared residency arrangements. Furthermore, it was determined that the frequency and number of psychological problems in children who share the residences of both divorced parents were no higher than those reported for children of parents who were not divorced. These studies did not include the abilities of different groups to adjust to changed circumstances.

However, some dispute the positive outcome of shared residency. They maintain that children who have to move from one parent's home to the other on a regular basis struggle to adjust to the divorce of their parents and the new family dynamics. The research group admitted that there is no recent data available about the ability of children to adapt to different arrangements. The most recent data used to study that aspect was collected in 1997.

Researchers and other professionals will always have more up to date details on which to base advice for divorcing parents and the best way to arrange visitation, parenting and residential plans. However, the truth is that the dynamics of each Illinois family are unique and justifies arrangements that suit their circumstances. An experienced family law attorney can provide valuable advice about the available options, and he or she can assist in drafting an agreement that will address the best interest of the children while also taking the schedules of the parents into consideration.

Source:, "Youth with shared residency after parents' divorce have less mental issues", Jan. 16, 2018

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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