Going through a divorce can be daunting, especially when there are kids involved. Determining what type of custody arrangement will be in the best interest of the children may seem overwhelming. Traditionally, the courts place the child in the sole-custody of the primary caretaker. Yet, studies show the importance of having both parents involved in the child’s life and how a joint-custody arrangement may be best for a child’s development.
The study released in the Journal of Family Psychology looked at children in sole-custody, joint-custody and traditional family situations. Researchers found that when children are able to spend a significant amount of time with both their mother and father, they fair better across several areas. Academically, children have better school performance and earn better grades. Children with access to both parents often show fewer behavioral problems, have stronger relationships and display a higher self-esteem when compared to children who have access to only one parent. There are also long-term benefits of children who spend time with both parents, including better careers, stronger marriages, wider social circles and general wellbeing.
Parents who share custody of the children are often friendlier with one another, and this amicable relationship is less stressful for children. This may lead to less anxiety, depression and other emotional problems children of divorce may suffer from.
Children need both their mothers and fathers, as each contributes something different to the child. Researchers explain how while mothers offer security, nourishment and collaboration, fathers encourage kids to be more competitive, explorative and independent.