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How children can benefit from joint-custody arrangements

As someone currently navigating your way through a separation or divorce, you may be experiencing considerable upheaval in your life as you adjust to new living arrangements, parenting routines and so on. For many parents going through a divorce, one of the hardest parts involves learning to adapt to new custody arrangements, and this may prove particularly true for parents who find their current custody arrangement lacking.

Even if a joint-custody arrangement was not your idea or preference, however, it may help you to know that children can benefit in a number of ways from such an arrangement, and it can have positive effects on your son or daughter’s overall development and well-being. Just how can your child benefit from your joint-custody arrangement?


While a prevailing belief exists that children who have to move back and forth between the homes of both parents face unnecessary stress and hardship, this is typically not the case. Children raised in “nuclear family” homes, or those with both parents present, are generally less likely than children of divorce to experience psychosomatic issues and health problems. However, children of divorce who spend time living with both parents fare significantly better overall than those who live exclusively with one parent or the other.

More specifically, kids whose parents have joint-custody arrangements are less likely than those who live with only a mother or father to experience sleeping issues, concentration problems and headaches. Children whose parents have joint-custody arrangements are also less likely to report feeling tense, sad or depressed when compared with kids who live with only a single parent.

When kids spend time living in the homes of both parents, they typically have more resources at their disposal, both family-wise and financially. This may play a role in why children whose parents share custody often fare better than those without these types of arrangements.

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