As parents going through divorce, one of the top things that you and your co-parent likely think about involves how you want to handle custody moving forward.
Different custody options work for different families and situations, with each offering its own benefits and potential drawbacks. Shared custody often gets talked of, but would it benefit you?
Mental health of children in joint custody
Psychology Today discusses shared parenting and how it affects children of divorce. Generally speaking, shared custody has enjoyed increasing popularity and the support and backing of studies over the years.
These studies show that children in joint or shared custody situations tend to fare better than children in sole custody situations in numerous ways. They seem to have fewer cases of anxiety or depression, and less severe cases when they happen. They suffer from stress and trauma disorders at a lower rate.
As adults, they have healthier coping mechanisms and lower rates of addiction and addiction-based problems. They have healthier relationships, both romantic and otherwise.
Why do these benefits exist?
Studies speculate that this difference exists because of the stability that children in shared custody situations have. Though their life still changes, they also still have both parents involved in major ways. They do not have to shift from a two-parent household and lifestyle to a single-parent one.
In some situations, sole custody still works best, though. For example, if one parent has allegations of abuse or neglect against them, they should get kept away from the child until the matter settles.
Likewise, if a parent does not want involvement in their child’s life or cannot get involved due to incarceration or other matters, sole custody may serve as the best option.
But outside of these situations, shared custody could potentially help a child of divorce for years to come.