Whether you and your spouse are on amicable terms or not, joint custody is a decent option when none of you want to give up living with your children. Divorcing couples need to remember that it is their responsibility to put the personal differences aside when it comes to their children’s best interests. Joint Managing Conservatorship is the presumption in Texas so if you want sole custody, you will have to rebut the presumption. And if joint physical custody will be the best option for the kids, then that’s what you need to do. Even though it might be tempting to get sole custody because the wounds of your breakup are still fresh, you need to consider the many benefits of shared physical custody.
Children are less traumatized
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), children who end up losing access to one parent after a divorce can become withdrawn and depressed, with an underlying sense of anger and resentment. As a result, these children are more likely to develop anxiety-related disorders and a variety of behavioral issues such as drinking, smoking, dropping out of school, and bullying. However, joint custody reduces the trauma and children are less likely to suffer from feelings of rejection, loss, and depression.
Children perform better overall
Several studies show that kids who grow up in a joint custody arrangement tend to perform better than those in a sole custody situation in terms of physical health, academic achievement, social skills, and emotional wellbeing. Children do better in school: Divorce can be as stressful for children as it is for their parents. During all the proceedings and emotional upheaval, school and homework may take a backseat. Several studies that show the direct relationship between parent-child relationships and academic achievement. However, if parents intervene early on, and maintain a cordial communication with each other and the children, it will significantly reduce the negative impact of divorce on their children’s academic performance.
Children know they are loved by both
In many cases, children who grow up in a sole custody arrangement develop low self-esteem because they believe they are responsible for their parent’s divorce. And why wouldn’t they; many divorcing couples go to great lengths to fight the custody arrangements of their kids. And if they end up living with one parent only, the sudden absence of the other parent can make them feel less important and less worthy. On the other hand, when parents force themselves to step outside their disputes and resentments for the sake of their children, they create a healthier and happier environment for the children.
Children don’t develop a conflicting sense of loyalty
If children are forced to grow up with only one parent, they often feel that they being loyal to one parent and disloyal to the other one. They may also start to blame themselves for giving their affection to only one parent. But if children have access to both of their parents, they will grow up normally without developing any false notions regarding loyalty.
Children develop a healthier sense of trust and friendship
You may think that you don’t need your spouse to bring up your children, but know that it will be extremely hard to meet their emotional needs all on your own. Through different stages of their lives, children have different emotional needs which can only be met if they have access to both parents. The bonds kids create with their parents at a young age often help them shape their social views and develop a healthy sense of trust.
Joint custody can be easier on both parents
It may not seem like it right now, but sole custody means you’ll have to meet the parental responsibilities of both of you. Many custodial parents who have sole custody may feel trapped or burdened by their responsibilities which leave them physically and emotionally drained. Over time, this often leads some parents to become emotionally distant from their children. Shared parental custody will alleviate these issues and allow you to divide your responsibilities so you play a more wholesome role in your children’s life.
Shared parenting lets children adjust better
Children may find it hard to adjust to post-divorce disruption if one parent suddenly drops out of their lives. This may exacerbate their feelings of loss and rejection. But having regular physical access to both the parents will help them adjust to their new routines extremely well. Since they will be secure in the knowledge that both of their parents are part of major decision-making, they will feel loved and cared for.
Shared responsibilities reduce conflicts over child support
When parents are in regular contact and participate in decision-making regarding their children, there is less room for any conflict over financial matters. When both spouses are focused on the best interests of children, it means they are willing to make sacrifices to ensure the children remain unaffected regardless of their tight financial situations.
Shared parental custody makes it easier to move on
This is certainly not a reason to choose shared custody, but it’s definitely a perk. When you know exactly when your children will be with your ex-spouse, you know you’ll be free to go out on a date without having to get home at a certain time or hire a babysitter. For most newly-single parents who are looking to start dating again, this helps to remove any worries regarding the intricate logistics of single-parent dating.
Joint custody will allow you to focus on your education or career
Shared custody arrangement can also give you the energy and time you need to take your education or career to the next level. You will finally have time to take that class that could increase your income potential or you will be able to dedicate certain days of the week to working late.
The Bottom Line
It’s clear that joint custody can be very beneficial for the children as well as their parents. If your spouse is a loving and responsible parent, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be a part of your children’s lives. Remember, in the final analysis, it always makes sense to put your kids’ interests before your own.
Dieye Firm are Houston Family Law Attorneys ready to assist you with all matters of Texas Divorce and Family Law. Contact us today for a consultation with an experienced attorney.