When parents go through a divorce, they have to make a decision on what sort of custody they would like to go for. In some cases, the answer is obvious, while other cases may involve some back-and-forward discussions.
Studies do tend to point toward one type of custody over others, however. They often indicate the benefits of joint custody comparatively.
Coping skills of children of divorce
Talking Parents discusses joint custody and the benefits it may provide. Studies that focus on the overall mental and emotional well-being of children after divorce sometimes find a notable difference between children of sole custody and children of joint custody.
First: coping. Sole custody children seem to have a harder time coping with the divorce and may develop unhealthy coping mechanisms related to that. By comparison, children of joint custody not only have better coping mechanisms but also tend to lash out less often at those around them in response to stress or trauma.
Mental health and anxiety rates
Next: mental health. Children of sole custody tend to have higher reported instances of developing or worsening mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, or stress and trauma-related disorders. On the flip side, children of joint custody seem to have fewer instances, and the ones they have tend to get diagnosed as less severe.
Of course, other factors can and do affect a child’s ability to cope and their mental health after a divorce. But studies tend to show that joint custody holds a positive impact on the lives of many children of divorcees, which is something for parents to keep in mind when making their decisions.