One of the most difficult topics to tackle in a Texas divorce is child custody. Not only is it hard to determine whether your children should live primarily with one parent or in a shared custody situation, but it may be challenging for children to transition from a traditional family household to a single parent situation.
While many court systems award sole custody to one parent and allow the non-custodial parent visitation rights, a myriad of studies show the benefits of joint custody or shared parenting.
What are the benefits?
According to Statnews, kids who spend a significant amount of time with both parents experience certain benefits when compared to children who live primarily with one parent and visit the other. Children in joint custody situations:
- Achieve higher academic grades
- Are less likely to do drugs, drink or smoke
- Have stronger family relationships
- Build strong support groups
- Are less likely to experience depression or anxiety
- Have fewer behavior issues
Long-term benefits include longer lasting marriages, better careers and better overall emotional wellbeing.
Why do they occur?
There are many reasons why spending time with both parents is beneficial to children and their growth and development. Although not all parents who share custody get along, they often have a more amicable relationship, which directly benefits children. Furthermore, children often form a closer bond with their fathers when they are able to spend both daytime hours and nighttime hours with them. Having fathers attend to nighttime needs, read books and making snacks can help to form that bond.
Finally, each parent plays a unique role in a child’s development. Fathers help children feel secure and encourage children to explore their surroundings, and mothers provide care and comfort.