Over the years, more and more studies have come out examining joint and sole custody – and their impacts on children. Many of these studies have found that a sole custody arrangement can often lead to negative outcomes for children.
Development of coping skills
Two recent studies on this subject underscore why joint custody can be so advantageous. These studies speculate that the continued presence of both parental figures in a child’s life tends to contribute greatly to their mental health and development throughout the years.
On the other hand, children of sole custody tend to have more issues with several key aspects of life after divorce. Children with one active parent tend to struggle more at building healthy coping skills, starting from early childhood. In later years, children who grow up in single-parent households are statistically more likely to:
- Suffer from behavioral disorders
- Run away from home
- Struggle with substance abuse
- Drop out of school
- End up in jail
Mental health struggles
In addition, children of sole custody also suffer from higher rates of anxiety and depression. These cases involve higher levels of risk as well as intensity. These children tend to have more problems with trauma and stress-related disorders, too – such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Trend, not inevitability
Of course, the above consequences are not true across the board for all children of sole custody. In addition, some situations demand sole custody – such as in the event of one parent having a history of abuse or mistreatment toward family members. In cases where a joint custody situation could endanger the children, sole custody is naturally the more beneficial option.
Outside of these situations, parents going through divorce might find that a joint custody arrangement better serves the entire family unit.