One of the most difficult topics to negotiate during a divorce proceeding is that of child custody. Not only is it hard for children to transition from a traditional family to a single-parent household, but it can be emotional for parents to limit the amount of time they see their children.
Ultimately, the judge presiding over the case will determine custody rights based on the best interests of the child. Yet, studies show that children in joint custody situations may have benefits over those who grow up in a sole custody situation.
What is joint custody?
Joint custody allows each parent to have a share in the physical custody of the children. Rather than the children staying in the sole custody of one parent and have visitation with the noncustodial parent, the children spend a significant amount of time with both parents.
What are the benefits?
According to Stat News, a meta-analysis of 50 studies on joint custody shows that children who spend at least 35% of time with each parent experience the following advantages:
- Have stronger social relationships
- Have a better sense of self and emotional well-being
- Earn better grades in school
- Are less likely to suffer from depression, stress and anxiety
Furthermore, children in joint custody situations are less likely to drink, use drugs or get pregnant at an early age. Long-term outcomes of children raised by both parents include achieving better careers, having longer marriages and enjoying a better quality of life than those who are in the sole custody of one parent.
Parents who share custody are better are disciplining and often have a more positive relationship with one another, which benefits children as well.