It goes without saying that when you and your spouse obtain a Florida divorce, the welfare of your children should be the primary concern of each of you. Divorce has a very negative impact on kids of all ages because it not only destabilizes their home, it also often causes them to erroneously assume that something they said or did caused their parents to break up. They also sometimes fear that one or both of their parents do not love them anymore, particularly the parent who often becomes the stereotypical “Disney World dad” – or mom – who they only “visit” every other weekend.
To make your upcoming divorce as easy as possible on your kids, including their post-divorce lives, you and your spouse may wish to consider joint custody. Joint custody represents the custody arrangement of choice for judges, divorce attorneys, legislators and child psychologists across the nation, as well as for parents themselves.
Benefits to children
The results of a recent study show that children benefit from joint custody in a number of ways, including the following:
- They have less likelihood of succumbing to stress, anxiety and depression
- They get consistently better grades at school
- They tend to have better peer relationships
- They have less likelihood of using alcohol, tobacco and/or illegal drugs
- They get to maintain their all-important family and extended family relationships
Benefits to parents
While your children’s best interests should take precedence, your own mental and emotional health is likewise important. Choosing joint custody gives both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse the opportunity to work together cooperatively on behalf of your kids. Considering that the two of you will be “tied together” until your children grow up and establish independent lives of their own, regardless of the fact that you divorced each other, joint custody can make this extended period much more pleasant for both of you.
Obviously, a successful joint custody arrangement rests on both parents’ emotional maturity and their desire and commitment to truly put the interests of their children ahead of their own often petty differences. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that your hostile ex-spouse can become a cooperative ally and partner as your children continue to grow up. If nothing else, joint custody may reopen the damaged lines of communication with your children’s other parent.