Parents going through divorce need to figure out what form of custody they want to use when raising their child after the split.
Though many options exist, joint or shared custody ranks among the most common. Studies also back it strongly as a good option to choose. But what makes it so good?
Encouraging healthy coping
Psychology Today talks about the custody parents share. Generally speaking, studies show that children who grow up in a joint custody situation have several benefits that children in a sole custody situation do not experience.
For example, many report fewer instances of depression or anxiety. There are even fewer cases of trauma or stress disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder.
Children tend to develop healthier coping mechanisms, starting from a young age. This includes learning how to process fear and anger in a way that does not impact or harm other people. In return, this leads to healthier coping mechanisms as adults and less reliance on addictions.
Many of these adults have healthier relationships than their counterparts who experienced sole custody, too. This holds especially true in the event of romantic relationships.
Who does it not work for?
However, joint custody does not work for every family or every situation. Sometimes, one parent does not want to be in their child’s life, and forcing them will only result in a negative experience for the child.
Other times, one parent may face allegations of abuse or neglect. Or perhaps one parent must serve time in jail, and cannot physically spend time with their child to begin with.
In these situations, another custody option may serve the family best.