As someone working your way through the aftermath of a divorce, you may be learning to adjust to having your child or children only part of the time. For many Pennsylvania parents, this is one of the most painful and emotional aspects of divorce, but it may help you adjust to your new situation if you recognize that joint-custody arrangements can actually be highly advantageous for children of divorce.
More specifically, according to , a study involving roughly 150,000 kids who were either 12 or 15 years of age revealed some interesting findings about the benefits of joint-custody arrangements. The study showed that, while kids from “nuclear families,” or two-parent homes, had the fewest psychosomatic issues, children of divorce whose parents shared custody had far fewer issues than kids who had divorced parents but lived exclusively with just one parent.
Healthier, happier kid
As much as it may pain you to say goodbye to your children periodically while they go spend time with their other parent, you and your former partner’s willingness to both raise your child can benefit them physically as well as emotionally. For example, children of divorce who spent time living in both parents' homes were less likely than other kids with divorced parents to suffer from headaches or stomachaches. Kids in this group, too, were less likely to report feeling dizzy, tense or sad, and they were also less likely to experience issues with eating or sleeping.
Why is it that children whose parents have joint-custody arrangements typically fare better than kids who live with just one parent? First, this type of custody arrangement means both parents are likely to play an active role in a child’s life, which can boost a child’s confidence and self-worth. Kids who spend time living in both parents’ homes also typically have better access to certain resources, such as money and extended family.
Even if sharing custody with your former partner was not your idea or preference, rest assured knowing you and your one-time partner may be doing your child a solid by maintaining this type of custody arrangement.