Divorce will often leave members of a family struggling for some semblance of normalcy and fighting against high levels of stress. Parents want what is best for their children, so they often want to combat these effects.
Though completely dispelling the effects may not be possible, some actions can limit the damage. This includes joint custody.
Joint custody benefits
The American Psychological Association discusses joint custody as an option for divorcing parents. This serves as an alternative to sole custody, in which one parent has all legal custody over a child.
Joint custody typically refers to the shared legal custody of two parents over a child. Joint physical custody rarely happens due to limitations of the parent’s living situations, i.e. most parents do not live together after the divorce.
Still, joint custody in any way allows both parents to have equal say and equitable participation in a child’s life. Having the presence of both parental figures allows a child to continue experiencing the stability that a two-parent household offered throughout their early years of life. They do not have to undergo the stress of adapting to a new family structure.
Mental health of children of divorce
On top of that, many studies show that children of joint custody have a lower rate of anxiety and depression compared to children of sole custody. This even includes stress and trauma-based disorders.
Thus, parents who feel like they can make joint custody work should consider giving it a try. Though it does not work for every family or situation, it serves as a good potential option for those who wish to seek it.