When parents decide to file for divorce in Florida, there are many issues to negotiate in the final divorce settlement. One of the most important factors to determine is where the children will live after parents part ways. Children must receive emotional support from both their mother and father, even if their parents are no longer married.

The judge presiding over the divorce will grant either sole-physical custody to one parent or joint-physical custody, where both parents have equal time with the child. The judge will also consider the children’s best interests when making decisions regarding custody and what will happen to the kids post-divorce. While the courts are often quick to award sole-physical custody to one parent, it may not always be the best choice for the children.

The study

Many documented studies look at the effect of sole and joint-custody on children and their development. One study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology looked at kids in sole-custody, joint-custody and traditional family living arrangements. Researchers studied both short- and long-term effects of divorce on children and how custody plays a role in their health, well-being and quality of life.

Shared custody proves beneficial for children

The results showed that when children spend a significant amount of time with both parents, they have certain advantages over children raised in sole-custody situations:

  • Stronger social circles
  • Fewer behavioral problems
  • Fewer emotional issues
  • Better grades in school
  • Stronger family relationships
  • Lower risk of anxiety and depression

Over a longer period, researchers found that kids raised in shared custody arrangements had better careers, completed higher levels of education and had strong support groups and longer lasting marriages.

When parents share custody of children, the parents are more likely to have a positive relationship with one another. This ability to get along well is extremely beneficial for children and creates a situation with less hostility and anxiety. It is important to keep in mind that the best custody arrangement for children depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the case.