Parents going through a divorce want to do everything possible to keep divorce from permanently impacting their children in big ways.
But is there a way to limit the impact divorce can have? Can preventing permanent scarring be as simple as choosing the right type of custody?
Improved mental health
According to the American Psychological Association, it might be. Joint custody has data from studies supporting it as a beneficial form of child custody. Studies show that children of joint custody generally have lower levels of reported anxiety and depression compared to children of sole custody. On top of that, they also have fewer instances of trauma and stress-related disorders. Those who do suffer from emotional repercussions seem to experience less severe cases, too.
Better coping mechanisms
In addition, children in joint custody situations tend to develop better coping mechanisms not only in regard to the divorce specifically but in response to stressful or traumatic situations in general. Children in sole custody situations have a higher likelihood of turning to alcohol, drugs or other vices in order to cope.
Studies speculate that this might happen due to the continuation of support and presence from both parents even after the divorce goes through. Instead of readjusting to life with one parent and seeing a reduction in financial security and emotional support, these children continue living with a relatively similar lifestyle as before the split.
Thus, many parents get encouraged to consider joint custody compared to sole custody if possible. While this option is not realistic for every parent, it could greatly benefit those who can make it work.