Going through divorce is a difficult process for everyone involved in the family unit, and this includes the children.
While it is impossible to keep your child away from every hurt that a divorce may inflict, it is still possible to make the transition to post-divorce life as easy as one can. This includes focusing on joint custody as an option.
Studies on post-divorce
The American Psychological Association discusses the adjustment period of children after divorce. Generally speaking, children of sole custody tend to struggle more with mental health than children of joint custody, according to studies done over periods of years.
Children of joint custody have lower reported rates of anxiety, depression and trauma or stress disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder. They also have fewer severe cases reported among those that are.
These children tend to build stronger and healthier relationships. As children, they lash out at peers less often and do not struggle with authority figures as much. As adults, they have a lower chance of struggling with addictions and other unhealthy methods of coping.
Who doesn’t joint custody work for?
However, joint custody is not a realistic option for every family. For example, if one parent faces allegations of abuse or neglect, it is in everyone’s best interest to keep the child away from them.
Sometimes, a parent may not want to or have the ability to stay in their child’s life, either. For example, a parent may face an extended period of incarceration, where they obviously cannot parent their child.
In those situations, sole custody may serve as the best or only option. But otherwise, joint custody may do a family a lot of good.