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Is joint custody really a good idea?

You may have heard that joint custody of children by their divorced parents has become the preferred custody arrangement in virtually all states. But now that you face your own divorce, you undoubtedly want to know whether joint custody represents the best option for your children.

As an overall proposition, children who grow up with two loving parents do much better than children who have only one parent-child relationship. So absent a history of spousal or child abuse or neglect during your marriage, yes, sharing custody with your about-to-be ex-spouse is the best thing you can do for your children.

Benefits for your kids

As reported by, joint custody will benefit your kids in the following six ways:

  1. They will maintain strong parent-child relationships with both parents.
  2. They will maintain strong family relationships with both of their extended families.
  3. They will suffer fewer negative effects from your divorce and the break-up of their nuclear family.
  4. They will maintain or possibly even exceed their current grade point average.
  5. They will make better choices when it comes to peer relationships.
  6. They will have a better chance of avoiding alcohol or drugs.

Benefits for you

As beneficial as joint custody is for your kids, you can also expect to benefit from it yourself in the following four ways:

  1. You and your kids’ other parent will have a better chance of arriving at a good post-divorce relationship.
  2. Both of you will be far more likely to abide by your parenting time plan and not engage in constant arguments about it.
  3. Both of you will cooperate better in the event of a child or family emergency.
  4. Both of you will be able to bask in the glow of knowing that you reared your children well despite the fact that you did not live together while doing it.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.