For years, it has been a common belief that it is beneficial to children for the mother to be the primary caregiver. However, Florida parents who are considering a divorce may want to know that the current trend in child custody matters is that children are more likely to benefit from joint custody.
According to a 2007 study, children tend to experience less depression, health issues and issues related to stress when they live with both parents for at least 35 percent of the time. Each parent is able to help a child in different ways. For example, mothers may focus on teaching children to interact with others and use reasoning to resolve conflicts. Fathers may be more inclined to engage in physical pastimes with the children, which may be able to help their physical and emotional development. The positive effect of having a child spend substantial time with both parents also applies to parents of same-sex relationships.
Is Joint Child Custody Common?
Despite the proven benefits of joint custody, it is still not common. Reasons for this may include the judicial bias against fathers that upholds the tradition of awarding mothers primary custody, the preference of fathers to have the mother as the primary caregiver and the fact that some divorcing couples are unable to communicate in a manner that makes the joint custody arrangement beneficial.
Even with the insufficient rate of joint custody, many divorcees are participating in shared parenting. Nesting, or exes residing in the same housing to avoiding having to relocate their children, is on the rise. Also, joint custody has become the default ruling in family courts in some states.