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Is joint custody your best option?

If you are a Colorado parent facing a divorce, the welfare of your children after the divorce likely is one of your highest concerns. It also is likely one of your soon-to-be ex-spouse's concerns, too. After all, both of you undoubtedly love your children and neither of you wants to become the traditional absentee parent, reduced to seeing your children every other weekend, alternating holidays, etc. The two of you may therefore wish to consider a post-divorce joint custody arrangement.

Gone are the days when a mom could rely on virtually always gaining custody of her children, especially if they were quite young at the time of her divorce. Joint custody has become the preferred option over the years, not only of parents, but also of child psychologists, family court judges and divorce attorneys. Unless some grievous condition exists in your marriage such as domestic or child abuse, most courts today feel that joint custody is in the best interests of the children.

Benefits to children

Per a recent study, you can expect your children to receive the following benefits from joint custody as opposed to single-parent custody:

  • They likely will get better grades at school.
  • They likely will have better peer relationships.
  • They likely will suffer less stress, anxiety and depression during and after your divorce.
  • They likely will be at less risk for drug or alcohol abuse.
  • They likely will maintain more meaningful relationships with their relatives on both sides of the family.

Benefits to parents

Lest you think that children are the only ones who benefit from joint custody, studies likewise show that parents benefit, too. For instance, sharing joint custody with your former spouse usually gives you the following benefits:

  • You likely will maintain a better post-divorce relationship with your former spouse.
  • The two of you will likely cooperate more with each other in the best interests of your children.
  • Each of you will likely have more incentive to live up to your parenting plan.
  • Each of you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you remain a large part of your children's lives.

Your greatest benefit to joint custody, however, may be your satisfaction of watching your children grow up as secure and well-adjusted kids who know they are loved and valued by both of their parents.

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