When going through a divorce, parents still want what is best for their children. Unfortunately, it is impossible to protect a child from every negative thing that may result from divorce. But it is possible to alleviate some of the potential damage, and custody options can help with this.
Joint custody, for example, can have many positive impacts on a child’s life. But just who does this option really work for?
What do studies show?
Psychology Today talks about joint custody. This option involves both parents sharing custody over the child instead of one parent having sole custody and the other having visitation rights, or no interaction with the child whatsoever.
Studies have shown that joint custody has a more positive impact on a child in the years following divorce. For example, these children seem to have a better set of coping mechanisms that allow for healthier relationships in both childhood and adulthood. Platonic and romantic relationships alike seem to flourish and thrive.
Likewise, children of joint custody report fewer instances of anxiety or depression as tied directly to their parent’s divorce. They also report fewer instances of trauma and stress based disorders in general.
Situations where it does not work
However, joint custody does not work for every family. In fact, with some families, it is best if only one parent has legal and physical custody of the child. This is especially true in cases where one parent faces allegations of abuse or neglect. It can also apply if the other parent simply will not be around often, as is the case with military parents or people facing incarceration.
It is important for a family to choose what option will actually work with their dynamic, and sometimes joint custody does not work.