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Can children benefit from joint-custody arrangements?

If you, like many parents across Texas, are currently learning to adjust to a joint-custody arrangement, you may be dealing with your own emotions about how your family transitions might impact your shared child. While you may find yourself struggling every time your son or daughter leaves your home to spend time in your former partner’s, it may comfort you to know that children whose parents have shared custody tend to fare better than those who live exclusively with one parent or the other.

According to Time, a study involving about 150,000 youths between the ages of 12 and 15 revealed that children who spent time living in both parents’ homes had substantially fewer psychosomatic problems than those who lived in only one parent’s home. Additionally, boys across this age group were less likely than girls to experience psychosomatic problems, which might include sleep issues, depression, concentration issues and headaches, among others.

Why do children who spend time in both of their parents’ homes tend to be more emotionally stable than those living in only one parent’s home? Part of the disparity is likely due to the fact that kids who live in both homes tend to have twice as much access to resources, which might include money, extended family members and the like. When access to such resources is lacking, kids may become more likely to feel stress or anxiety.

Additionally, having two fully engaged parents tends to reduce stress and anxiety in children, even if the two parents live in different places. Parents who share custody typically have more opportunities to engage with their children than parents who only see their kids occasionally.

This information about joint-custody arrangements is informational in nature and not a substitute for legal advice.


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