When there are children involved in a divorce, emotions run high and can sometimes cloud the judgment of one or both parents. When it comes to deciding child custody, parents should put their personal feelings aside and consider what is best for the children.
Although there are exceptions, most children tend to fair better in joint custody situations. Parents can also provide an exceptionally beneficial environment for the kids if they learn how to co-parent effectively.
Joint custody and lower stress levels
According to Science Daily, one of the benefits for children who live equally with each parent is that they experience lower levels of stress. The theory is that these children do not experience the loss of friends, relatives or money to the same extent as do children who live solely with one parent.
Joint custody situations also give the child quality time with each parent, strengthening each relationship, which benefits the child’s general well-being.
Although joint physical custody is generally the better option, it does not mean that it is easy for the parents. It can take time to figure out the best way to make custody arrangements work and to share in the parenting responsibilities. Psychology Today suggests that a good way to start is for the parents to set aside any ill feelings and demonstrate respect for the other in front of the child.
Parents should work on setting up a stable schedule so the children know which parent they will be staying with at all times. Parents should also communicate regularly, even if it is via email or other low-contact method. Children strive on routine, so each parent should have similar rules and expectations as well as support the child’s relationship with the other parent.