Custody decisions are typically based on determining the best interests of the children. While going through a divorce will often leave scars no matter how a family goes about it, it is possible to minimize damage and ensure that children have the tools they need to form positive and healthy coping mechanisms as the family moves forward. Family care specialists and (following their lead) the courts find that having both parents actively involved in the lives of the children through joint custody is often in the children’s best interests.
Stability for children of divorce
The American Psychological Association discusses the benefits of joint custody for children. First, it is essential to understand the sources of fear and anxiety for children of divorce. Many fear the lack of stability and reliability that a divorce causes. While some issues are unavoidable, parents can work to provide stability.
A family with both parents has a higher stability rate than a single-parent household. Not only will the financial situation be more stable, but the child also has both parents to rely on and turn to, even if they no longer share a house with both simultaneously.
Reduced anxiety and depression
Feeling both parents’ continued love and care can help soothe anxiety, too. In fact, studies show that children in a joint custody situation typically have lower levels of anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma disorders than those in a sole custody situation.
The needs of each child are different
Of course, joint custody does not work out for every family. In some situations, the relationship is so strained or damaged that the parents should not interact. There may be mental health issues where one parent cannot provide a safe and loving environment. But for those not in such a dire situation, it usually is beneficial to make joint custody work.