Night Shifts: Revisiting Blanket Restrictions on Children’s Overnights With Separated Parents

This article is Dr. Warshak’s most recent, and comprehensive, overview of the scientific status of restrictions on a young child’s overnights with a parent (usually the father).

Professional opinions have shifted regarding the value of young children receiving overnight care from each parent. This article shows that contemporary proposals of blanket restrictions are contradictory and rest on faulty interpretations of a narrow bandwidth of scholarship. No coherent theory or research confirms speculations that fathers’ overnight care poses greater risks to their young children than daytime care, or that overnights are contraindicated if opposed by the mother.

The article demonstrates that theory, research, and practical considerations support the benefits of overnights. It violates logic and common sense to welcome father–child contact around bedtime and morning rituals when parents live together, but eschew overnight contact when parents separate. Includes citations to141 references. This article, published in the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, is a sequel to  Blanket Restrictions: Overnight Contact.

journal article
This item is included in the Parenting Plan & Overnights Collection.