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What do studies say about joint custody?

Parents going through divorce want what is best for their child. In most cases, a child fears instability and uncertainty more than anything else.

There is a way to address both of these fears at the same time, though. This is through the implementation of joint custody as a custody option.

Does it work for everyone?

Psychology Today talks about joint custody and its impact on children. Studies over the years have highlighted the benefits of joint custody as compared to sole custody. Sole custody is sometimes the only option for some families, especially if one parent cannot physically be present due to issues like incarceration or deployment or if they face allegations of abuse.

However, in families where joint custody is possible, children show numerous signs of positive growth and fewer problems than their sole custody counterparts seem to display.

Improved mental health

For one, they have lower rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. They seem to develop healthier coping mechanisms at a younger age, too. This can lead to fewer instances of lashing out at peers or disobeying authority figures.

Healthier relationships

In adult life, these children have healthier relationships, including platonic and romantic alike. They also have fewer problems with addictions compared to children of sole custody. This is likely due to the better coping mechanisms developed in their youth.

Stronger support structures

Studies also point out that joint custody provides a stronger structure of stability and support as a child grows up. They feel they have both parents to turn to in difficult times in their life, which can lead to less reckless decision-making in general.

Thus, on a whole, joint custody holds many benefits that a child of divorce could enjoy.



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