As divorcing parents in Minnesota, you must make a lot of tough decisions about how you will handle parenting after the split. Though some parents are in difficult situations that make sharing joint custody hard or even impossible, it is generally advocated to go with that option if it’s reasonable to do so. But why is there so much support for joint custody?
The American Psychological Association published an article in 2002 stating that joint custody may be the best option for the children in a divorce. Studies were conducted that compared the mental and emotional well-being of the children of sole custody situations against the children of joint custody situations. Of those groups, it was the children of joint custody who showed more stability, fewer problems in school, and less difficulty making social adjustments. They were also shown to have higher self-esteem and fewer emotional or behavioral problems.
Not only that, but they had better familial relationships. It is speculated that this is due to the fact that they had more evenly balanced input and involvement from both parents, as opposed to just one. This allows a child to continue developing healthy connections with all sides of the family, as opposed to one side becoming estranged due to the limitations sole custody may impose.
As mentioned, joint custody is not always the best option. However, if you and your spouse can cooperate well enough to make it a possibility, it could potentially hold great benefits for your child when moving forward after the split.