Going through a divorce can be a difficult process, especially if there are children involved. With strong emotions, it can be hard to determine who is entitled to what, the rate of alimony and child support, as well as who should be given custody of the children. In California, and in other states across the country, custody is awarded keeping the best interests of the child in mind. Sole-physical custody was traditionally thought to be advantageous for children, as they did not have to live between homes. However, studies show that joint-custody may be a better option, as the children are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents.
The study looked at children set in joint-custody, sole-custody and traditional family arrangements over a period of time. The results showed that kids who spent time with both parents had higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, higher school performance, stronger family relationships and less emotional stress. Over a long-period of time, kids who are raised by both parents have successful careers, stronger support groups, better marriages and are better adjusted than those who spend a majority of time with one parent.
The results are supported by other studies that show the benefits kids experience when they are able to spend time with both their mother and their father. Kids learn different behaviors and gain critical skills from each parent. For instance, while mothers are nurturing and instill a sense of independence, fathers encourage kids to explore their surroundings and compete with others while making them feel safe and secure.