While divorcing parents cannot necessarily lessen the overall impact that divorce will have on their child’s life, there are ways to reduce the stress that might happen because of it.
One potential way involves choosing the right type of custody arrangement for the family dynamics. Joint custody serves as a popular option, but does it suit every family?
Sole custody vs. joint custody
The American Psychological Association discusses joint custody as a divorce option. Joint custody involves both parents having legal custody of the child, i.e. having the legal right to make decisions on their behalf, and an entitlement to a share of their time. Compare this with sole custody, in which only one parent has the legal and physical custody of the child and the other only gets restricted visitation rights.
Joint custody provides the benefit of giving a child the continued stability and support of a two-parent household. They do not have to readjust to life with only one parent present, nor do they have to make many changes to their way of living if both parents remain equally involved on all levels, or involved to the best of their abilities.
Does it work for everyone?
However, joint custody does not work for everyone. For example, some divorces happen because one spouse ends up abusing or neglecting the child. In such cases, it is prudent to ensure that the parent with abuse allegations does not have control over or access to their child in excessive amounts.
As with many cases, it is up to a family to decide what type of custody arrangement will serve their unique dynamic best.