Generally speaking, choosing a form of child custody is one of the hardest parts of divorce discussions that parents going through a split will have to face.
Different forms of custody can benefit people in different situations, and what works for one family may not work for another. However, some types of custody consistently seem to hold higher benefits than others, and joint custody is one of them.
Joint vs. sole custody
Talking Parents discuss the benefits associated with shared or joint custody. This form of custody allows for both parents to have custody – usually, legal custody rather than physical custody, as parents do not typically want to continue living together after a split.
This compares to sole custody, another common option in which only one parent has full custodial rights. Though the other parent may still have visitation rights, they often end up removed from their child’s life to a significant degree.
The findings of studies
Studies generally side with joint custody as the healthier and more beneficial option. Some studies showed that children of joint custody have a lower and less severe rate of issues like anxiety and depression in the aftermath of divorce.
Other studies highlight the fact that children of joint custody show signs of healthier coping mechanisms in the early days of the divorce, which tend to solidify as they age. They also lash out at their peers less often.
Thus, if a family can make joint custody work in their situation, it may serve as a good way to help a child cope with the difficulties of their parent’s divorce.