It's only natural to wonder how spending time in two different households will affect your child. It may seem like having two sets of rules, two different bedrooms and two different schedules would be a great source of stress. But you can rest assured that a split custody arrangement is not going to be harmful for your child.
In fact, it may be better than if your child was living with only one parent. According to TIME magazine, a Swedish study found that children who split their time living with both of their parents actually fare better. While shared parenting is less common in the United States than in other countries, research suggests that the benefits of shared parenting over single parenting are enormous. Therefore, if you and your ex have shared custody, your child's mental well-being is likely not in danger and he or she is much better off than if a close relationship with one parent was lost completely.
The study examined various health issues of 12 and 15-year old students, including eating habits, sleep problems, stomachaches and headaches. The results indicated that children who lived with only one parent exhibited considerably more mental stress symptoms than those who spent time living with each parent.
One advantage of your child living separately with both you and your ex is that it gives the child exposure to more support. A child who has the opportunity to remain engaged with both parents has access to more resources and is therefore less likely to be vulnerable and stressed.