If you and your spouse are contemplating a South Dakota divorce, both of you likely are very concerned about the ways in which this divorce will impact your children. Possibly the best way you can minimize the negative effects of your divorce on your children is by considering a post-divorce joint custody arrangement.
In recent years, joint custody has achieved the status of most favored custody arrangement for judges, divorce attorneys, child psychologists, legislators and parents across the country. All of these people firmly believe that a child’s best interests are served by maintaining a continuing and meaningful relationship with both of his or her parents after they divorce.
Per the results of a new study, children benefit from joint custody in the following ways:
- They suffer less stress, anxiety and depression
- They get higher grades at school
- They have better peer interaction
- They are less likely to turn to alcohol, tobacco and/or illegal drugs
- They maintain better family and extended family relationships
Your children are not the only ones who benefit from joint custody. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse likewise benefit. Neither of you faces the position of being the stereotypical “Disneyland parent,” reduced to twice-monthly visitation weekends where you feel enormous pressure to show your kids a good time. Likewise, neither of you winds up feeling like you have assumed total responsibility for your kids’ health, welfare and happiness with no help from their other parent.
Keep in mind that just because you and your spouse cannot live together harmoniously does not mean that you cannot effectively and cooperatively work together for the benefit of the children whom you both dearly love. Perhaps the biggest benefit you and your spouse receive from post-divorce joint custody is the opportunity to see each other in a new and positive light in which you can reestablish your own channels of communication.