Parents looking for the best possible way to handle their custody situation may want to consider joint custody. This option allows for parents to share equal legal and even physical custody.
Though this option does have some potential downsides and does not work for everyone, it still has numerous documented and studied benefits, too.
Improved coping and mental health
Psychology Today examines various studies that focus on joint custody. These studies generally focus on the well-being and mental health of a child who goes through joint custody due to their parent’s divorce.
Primarily, these studies paint joint custody in a positive light. It seems that through the support provided by joint custody, many children not only have better coping mechanisms, but they also have an easier time dealing with authority figures and peers alike.
They have a lower reported rate of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Those who do report them tend to have less severe issues than counterparts who experience sole custody. They also have a lower rate of trauma and stressor-based disorders.
Fewer troubles as adults
On top of that, they tend to struggle less with addiction as adults. This could tie back to the improvement of coping mechanisms which they establish in their younger years, thus leading to better behavior in adulthood.
Joint custody does not work for every family. For example, if one parent is serving jail time or time in the military, they cannot be present. Likewise, it is best not to have joint custody if one parent is currently under investigation for abuse or neglect.
In other situations, however, it may serve as a beneficial option for both parent and child alike.