Divorce can be hard for everyone involved, especially children. Kids of divorce are often forced to transition from a traditional family living situation to a sole-custody or joint-custody arrangement. Not only is it a major adjustment, but the change can affect children in many ways.
Traditionally, the judge presiding over the case place children in sole custody of one parent as a way to keep children from bouncing back and forth from parent to parent. Yet, this exchange between parents may be the best thing for children. Studies show that children may benefit from joint-custody living arrangements.
Researchers looked closely at children who were placed in sole-custody, traditional family and joint-custody arrangements. They found that when kids spend a significant amount of time with both parents, they tend to have the following benefits in comparison to kids who spend most of their time with one parent:
- Get better grades in school
- Have fewer behavioral issues
- Have less emotional problems
- Form stronger family bonds
- Feel better about themselves
Long-term, kids raised in joint-custody have longer-lasting marriages, achieve higher levels of education and have stronger support groups that those in other living arrangements.
Studies show that when parents shared custody of the children, they act in a more positive manner toward one another. This friendly interaction is more advantageous to children when compared to kids who see parents fight and argue during exchanges.
Also, each parent helps children develop and grow in different ways. While mothers generally provide a nurturing environment that is safe and help kids feel secure, fathers push children to explore and provide discipline if needed. Children who spend time with both parents tend to be well-rounded.