Heymann & Fletcher

Can joint child custody help kids adjust to divorce?

In many cases, New Jersey couples realize that they are not compatible as husbands and wives but acknowledge that their ex-spouses are good and loving parents. Just because their relationships as couples are over does not mean that their relationships as parents are ending. These mothers and fathers can negotiate child custody arrangements that give them as much time with their children as possible.

Deciding to end a marriage can have adverse emotional effects on everyone involved. The emotional roller coaster that New Jersey parents often experience is most likely amplified in their children. Fortunately, parents can help their children get through divorce by putting them first. Data gathered in a new study indicates that a joint child custody arrangement can make divorce easier for children to handle.

The children in the study who spent time living with both parents had fewer sleep issues, were able to concentrate and did not experience as many negative emotions, such as sadness or tension, compared to children who only lived with one parent. Of course, there is always an adjustment period for both the parents and the children, but, once a consistent routine was established, the children seemed to thrive. One of the biggest factors in the success of the arrangement was that the children always knew that their parents made them a priority.

While negotiating a joint child custody agreement, parents can account for a myriad of issues outside of living arrangements, such as how to handle school functions, birthdays and holidays. Some parents even agree to spend holidays together as a family. Regardless of what happens with a marriage, neither party has to stop being a parent. When maintaining a solid, loving parental relationship becomes a priority, everybody wins.

Source: wsaz.com, "Study: Joint Custody After Divorce Least Stressful on Children", Brad Myers, April 29, 2015

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