Parenting can be challenging, especially if you are co-parenting after a legal separation or divorce. Children deserve the love, emotional and financial support from both parents, even if they are not married. It is important to realize that the type of custody arrangement negotiated through mediation or set by the judge presiding over the case has a big impact on children, their behavior and their overall wellbeing.
Generally, the judge places children in either a sole-custody or joint-custody arrangement. There are several factors considered when reaching this decision, such as where the parents live in proximity to one another, the amount of time the child spent with each parent during the marriage, parents’ health and financial stability, and their ability to care for the children.
A look at shared parenting
Studies show that when children grow up in joint custody arrangements, they experience certain advantages over children who group up in sole custody situations. Researchers determined that children who are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents have the following:
- Fewer behavioral problems
- Better grades in school
- Stronger social support
- Positive family relations
Over a long period of time, children raised in joint custody families have stronger support groups, longer-lasting marriages, better careers and higher levels of education than those raised primarily with one parent.
The importance of shared parenting
Both mothers and fathers teach children essential life skills, each in their own unique way. While mothers traditionally provide a safe and nurturing environment, fathers challenge children to explore their surroundings and may act as disciplinarians. Children who spend time with both their mother and father tend to have a higher sense of well-being and self-esteem.
Furthermore, parents who raise children in joint custody situations often have a more amicable relationship with one another. This positivity reduces anxiety and stress for children and parents alike. The circumstances surrounding situations may differ, and joint-custody living arrangements may not be ideal for everyone.