Divorce often forces children to go from living in a traditional family household to a single parent situation. As you go through divorce, there is no doubt you want what is best for your children.

In a litigated divorce, the judge determines whether sole custody or joint custody is best for your children. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the children may end up living primarily with one parent and visiting the noncustodial parent. However, according to the Institute for Family Studies, research shows that joint custody may be best for everyone involved.

Looking at the research

Studies show that children who spend significant time with both parents excel in many areas and have advantages over children who spend the majority amount of time with one parent. Children raised in joint custody situations did better in school, had fewer emotional and behavior issues and established better family relationships than children raised in sole custody arrangements.

Over a longer period of time, children who spent time with both parents had longer-lasting marriages, better careers and stronger social support networks.

Spending time with parents

Children need both their mom and dad, as each parent contributes unique traits to a child’s upbringing. While moms tend to nurture, educate and care, dads offer safety, discipline and encourage kids to explore.

Furthermore, parents often have a more positive relationship when sharing their children, which is beneficial for children as well. Keep in mind that joint custody is not for every family situation, as some parents may be abusive, neglectful or do not wish to have a relationship with their child.