Going through a divorce is often a complicated process, especially if there are children involved. In addition to negotiating property division and other terms of the divorce settlement, parents must determine whether the children will live in a joint-custody or sole-custody living arrangement. In some cases, the judge presiding over the case will determine the type of custody that is best for the children. While many judges in Nebraska and across the nation traditionally place children in sole-custody situations, studies show the many benefits that joint-custody arrangements have on childrens’ development.

The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, looked at children raised in joint-custody, sole-custody and traditional family arrangements. Researchers found that children who grew up in joint-custody situations had the following:

  • Fewer emotional problems
  • Better sense of self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Fewer behavioral issues
  • Better grades in school and academic achievements
  • Stronger family relationships

Over a longer period of time, kids who spent a significant amount of time with both parents achieved higher levels of education, had longer-lasting marriages and built stronger support groups than children who spend the majority of their time with one parent.

When parents share custody of the children, they are often on better terms with one another. This positive interaction can directly affect the children and help them feel better about the situation. Furthermore, each parent provides something different. For instance, fathers encourage children to explore their surroundings and provide discipline to help children act properly. Mothers, on the other hand, help children feel safe and secure, and provide a nurturing environment.