Whether you and your ex-spouse amicably agreed to your child custody arrangement or a judge decided for you, it’s undeniable that shared custody plans are highly beneficial for a child’s development and well-being. According to 54 studies that compare child outcomes in both shared and sole custody families, children in shared parenting arrangements typically:
- Performed better in school
- Had less emotional health issues
- Had fewer behavioral problems
- Had better overall physical health
Though it can be difficult for any parent to adjust to only seeing their kids part-time, the truth is shared custody arrangements offer many perks to divorced or separated parents, too. Here are three unexpected benefits that joint custody plans can add to your life:
1. You’ll have an even share of the responsibilities
While parenting is full of countless joyous moments, it also has its fair share of challenges. In a shared custody arrangement, you won’t have to shoulder those burdens on your own. When your child is evenly divvying up their time between the two of you, you’ll naturally end up sharing things such as the costs of everyday child-rearing and disciplining your child when necessary. In shared custody, no one parent has to be the “bad guy” or the one who does all the hard work.
2. You’ll have more time for yourself
Though it can be lonely initially, in time, you’ll likely appreciate having more time to prioritize yourself and your needs when your child is at the other parent’s home. Once your routine is established, you might consider using your free time away from your kids to work on your career, go back to school, start a new hobby or even get back in the dating game. Taking time for yourself and your well-being is essential for parents in the aftermath of divorce, too.
3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Though you won’t see your kids every day in a joint custody arrangement, it can help you appreciate the time you do have with your children even more. Co-parenting allows children to have strong, healthy relationships with both parents that will enable them to thrive. Also, it can allow your children to appreciate the time they have with you more as well.
Though shared custody arrangements are usually in the child’s best interests, they offer some surprising benefits for divorced parents, too. Shared parenting creates a healthy environment necessary for both parents to maintain their essential role in their kid’s life.