When deciding on custody arrangements, it is not just about what is best for the parents.
In fact, choosing what is best for the child is arguably much more important, both in the eye of the law and in the eye of most people.
What is joint custody?
As Psychology Today states, joint custody is a main option for custody arrangements. There are several other options as well, each with its own potential benefits and drawbacks.
As far as joint custody goes, this option allows for both parents to have an equal legal say in their child’s life. This includes matters like schooling, medical care, religious options and more. Some parents opt for joint physical custody as well, but this is not as easy given many parents move to different cities after a divorce.
What are the benefits?
Joint custody has many documented benefits for parents, but mainly for children. For example, studies comparing children of joint custody experiences with children who experienced sole custody have shown that joint custody seems to allow children to form healthier coping mechanisms from a relatively young age.
On top of that, children of joint custody have fewer reported rates of depression and anxiety as specifically tied to their parent’s divorce. These numbers hold true for trauma and stressor-based disorders as well, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is perhaps due to the dual support that having both parents involved in the child’s life may provide. It could ease a child’s concerns about the future, along with giving them something familiar to hold onto in an otherwise very tumultuous time.
Though joint custody does not work for every family, it is a good option to consider. It may benefit both parents and children alike, strengthening the parent-child bond in the aftermath of a potentially traumatic event. It gives kids some closure and may let them move forward with a healthier mindset.