Whether you have recently filed for divorce or you are considering entering into the process, there are a myriad of factors that must be negotiated. Divorce can be overwhelming and emotional, especially when there are children involved. It may be difficult for you and your spouse to determine what type of parenting arrangement will work best for the children. Traditionally, children are put in the sole-custody of one parent, while the non-custodial parent has visitation periodically throughout the month. Studies show, however, that children may fair better in a joint-custody situation, where they spend a significant amount of time with both parents.
The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, reported the effects of joint parenting on children of all ages. Researchers looked at children in joint-custody arrangements and compared them to those living in the sole-custody of one parent and children who live in intact homes. The results showed that children who have access to both parents show better emotional, behavioral and physical development. Children who spend time with both parents often did better in school, had stronger relationships, had fewer emotional and behavioral problems and exhibited a higher self-esteem.
The key is that each parent provides different roles and influences children in a unique way. While mothers often give children a sense of security and nurturing, fathers teach children independence and the importance of competition and achievement. When children are exposed to both parents regularly, they are able to develop a more well-rounded sense of themselves.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.