For the first time since the 1950s, there’s no dominant family type. And yet, for two-parent families many couples opt to postpone the divorce process and pretend a broken marriage still works for “the sake of the children”. While that may have worked decades ago, kids tend to far more of what’s going on at home than their parents may realize. The health and safety of your children should always come first, but that doesn’t mean staying in a miserable relationship is the right option. In fact, if you can stand working together for the sake of the children shared custody options may provide the best solution for all involved. But what are some benefits of shared child custody agreements?
Both Parents Get to Raise the Children
Approximately one-third of American kids live with one parent. Around 30% of those kids live with a single or solo mother while only 16% live with a solo father. Reduced household conflict and the decision to work together even after divorce for the health and happiness of the children can help everyone in the long run. Shared custody options can ensure both parents can be ongoing parts of their kids’ lives and actually help raise their kids while remaining active parts of the family unit.
Children Are More Secure
Children rely on their parents for security, and divorce can make them feel severe loss and a range of emotions. Suddenly one parent is “good” and the other’s “bad”. Guilt can set in due to feeling torn between the parents and then the real trouble can ensue: behavioral problems, refusal to adhere by rules and even placing themselves in dangerous situations for attention. The right shared custody arrangement can help ensure your kids know they can continue depending on both parents long after the divorce is finalized.
Children Feel Less Stress
Children feel the stress of a bad marriage long before divorce occurs. That stress often continues long afterward due to the continuation of hatred between the parents or estranged relationships between the kids and one parent. Shared custody arrangement can help ensure both parents remain in the kids’ lives and the anger or hostility between the parents fades as they focus on the needs of their children from separate locations.
Children May Learn More Respectful Conflict Resolution Skills
Parenting styles aren’t always the same, but that’s OK as long as the parents remain respectful, loving, and devoted to raising healthy kids. When children have ongoing and regular access to both parents, they learn practical and priceless information and life lessons from each side. Many of these lessons involve respect and conflict resolution skills.
Children Perform Better in School
A brutal divorce and lack of parental interest or availability can result in behavioral problems that can extend to learning disabilities. Many studies link divorce to such concerns, but a study by the University of Missouri concluded that children of divorce can be 20% less likely to attend college than children from stable households or upbringing. Shared custody can help ensure children are properly supported during their formative years.
Children Have Better Relationships and Communication with Their Parents
A selection of 40 individual studies was published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, and they all came to the same conclusion: children do significantly better in life when shared parenting is applied after divorce. These findings covered children of all age groups above toddler and their comparative behavioral, health, physical, emotional, and academic to those of non-shared custodial arrangements. The fact is, children have better communication options and relationship with their parents due to their willingness to focus on being good parents even after divorce. If safety isn’t a concern, be sure to discuss potential shared child custody options with your Michigan divorce lawyer.