Joint custody has long enjoyed a good reputation in the divorce community. This especially applies to the potential benefits that it has for children.
But what exactly are these benefits? In what way can joint custody help a family after divorce?
Studies point to numerous benefits
Psychology Today discusses joint custody and its potential benefits for children. Joint custody is a child custody situation in which the parents both have equal legal rights over their child. Sometimes they have equal physical custody as well, but this is rare due to the fact that most divorced couples do not continue living together or even near one another.
Joint custody has numerous benefits for children of divorce. For example, one study showed that compared to children who experienced sole custody, children of joint custody could build better coping mechanisms and also healthier relationships. These skills also lasted past childhood and into a person’s adulthood.
Children of joint custody also had fewer reported instances of anxiety or depression as specifically related to their parent’s divorce. They also had fewer reported instances of trauma or stress-based disorders related to the split, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Why do these benefits occur?
Studies speculate that these benefits come from the support structure offered by joint custody. Children in these situations still have the mutual support and love of both parents, as well as their continued presence in life. This can ease their fears and concerns about the future and make it easier for them to cope with any changes that may occur.