How can joint-custody benefit kids?

When parents file for divorce, children are often forced to go through the process as well. It can be extremely difficult for children to experience the separation of their family and learn to live in different households. Child custody and parenting plans are developed to lessen the impact of divorce on children and to ensure kids are able to spend time with both parents, even after the family has separated. While some children are placed in the sole-custody of one parent, others are put in joint-custody of both parents. There is evidence that children who are placed in joint-custody arrangements may reap the benefits of having access to both parents on a regular basis.

Researchers looked at kids who were raised in joint-custody, sole-custody and traditional family situations. They then compared them along a myriad of factors, including behavior, academics, health, family life and long-term outcomes. The study, which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology, found that children who are raised in joint-custody homes have advantages over those who are raised by one parent.

Kids who are exposed to both parents have a higher school performance, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral and emotional problems and strong social connections. Over time, kids who spend a significant amount of time with both their mother and father have better marriages, prestigious careers and a better sense of well-being. Parents who share custody of their children usually have a better relationship, which lessens the stress for children.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.