When you separate from or divorce your spouse, chances are, you worry about how the transition may impact any children you have together. Once you divorce, you typically have several options at your disposal in terms of custody, and those options could include you taking over primary custody, your spouse doing so or the two of you deciding on a joint-custody arrangement.
Even if the relationship between you and your former partner is relatively amicable following your split, it may pain you to have to spend part of your time without your child living in your home. It may help you to some extent, however, to recognize that, according to Time, your joint-custody arrangement may have positive effects on your child.
The benefits of joint-custody arrangements
Just how do children whose parents have joint-custody arrangements benefit in comparison to kids who live exclusively with one parent or the other? In a study involving about 150,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 15, those who had separated parents but spent time living with both fared better emotionally, socially and overall than those who lived with just one parent.
For starters, kids who spent time living with both parents, as opposed to just one or the other, typically had better health, and they were less likely to report having headaches, stomachaches or sleeping issues. Those who spent time in the homes of both parents also were less likely to report feeling dizzy, having trouble concentrating or experiencing a loss of appetite than their peers who lived with only one parent. Furthermore, kids who lived with only one parent were more likely to report feeling sad or tense than those who lived with both parents.
In summary, while a joint-custody arrangement is definitely an adjustment, sharing your kids with your partner after a separation or divorce may prove advantageous for them in the long run.