You decided to get divorced because you needed it. Still, the idea of taking your child away from your ex-spouse, or vice versa, terrifies you. However, you must not worry about this because the courts in Pennsylvania favor joint over sole custody. The reason for this preference is based on the child’s best interests, but there are also many benefits for the parents in a joint custody agreement.
It will be less stressful for your child
The courts always think about joint custody first because they believe this type of custody is the one that benefits the child the most. This idea was supported by a study conducted by Baltimore’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The study showed that children who had access to both parents during their development adjusted better to the divorce than those under a sole custody agreement. The study also showed that children in joint custody agreements had:
- Fewer behavioral and emotional problems
- Higher self-esteem
- Better development of healthy relationships
- Less stress
Another benefit of joint custody is that kids who live under this agreement don’t have as many losses as kids who are in sole custody agreements (loss of friends, relatives or money). With joint custody, the child can maintain their relationships and adjust to the new routine better.
It will reduce conflict with your ex
In a shared custody agreement, you and your ex would have the same rights and responsibilities towards your child. You would also have the same parental status. This equality can prevent the conflicts that arise from feelings of injustice between most custodial and non-custodial parents. It is easier for parents to avoid discussions if they spend the same amount of time with their children and have the same decision-making power in their lives.
It will be easier for you
As mentioned, you and your ex would share the same responsibility of disciplining your kids in a joint custody agreement. This would make raising your child easier for you, as you’d have someone who can help you out with their education, well-being and needs. Besides, you’d have free time to enjoy when your child visits your ex. You can even use that time to focus on your career or job.
A worthy decision
If you and your ex agree on joint custody, you can create a parenting plan together and present it to the court. Seeing your ex constantly after your divorce may not be what you had in mind. Still, seeing them for the benefit of your kids will be worth it. After all, you ended your marriage, but the family remains.