When you are a parent facing divorce, custody likely tops your list of things to worry about. In all likelihood, your spouse feels the same way. Neither of you wants to become the absentee parent who sees the children only every other weekend and every other holiday. And your children do not want to “lose” one of their parents. There must be a better answer, right? 

There is. Joint custody could make all of your post-divorce lives much easier and more pleasant. But will your children really benefit from such an arrangement? Child psychologists say yes. Judges, courts, parents and kids alike all prefer joint custody in most situations. 

Children’s benefits 

StatNews reports that according to the results of a recent study, your children will benefit from joint custody in the following six ways: 

  1. They will more easily maintain good parent-child relationships with both parents. 
  2. They will more easily maintain meaningful relationships with both their maternal and paternal extended families. 
  3. They will likely suffer considerably less trauma from their parents’ divorce than children who must deal with a de facto absentee parent. 
  4. They will more likely maintain their current GPA in school rather than succumbing to falling grades. 
  5. They will more likely maintain their current positive peer group friendships rather than seeking new, less desirable friends with whom to hang out. 
  6. They will more likely resist opportunities to engage in drug or alcohol usage. 

Parents’ benefits 

Joint custody also gives you and your soon-to-be former spouse the opportunity to establish a new post-divorce relationship based on cooperation and mutual concern for your children. Divorced parents who share custody more or less equally almost always get along better than parents who opt for more traditional custody arrangements.