Divorce is hard on families – especially kids. But while helping your children adjust to life after divorce isn’t without its challenges, the good news is that over 50 scientific studies on joint physical custody confirm that children who maintain healthy relationships with both of their parents after divorce thrive.
Children who spend at least 35% of their time with each parent, rather than living with one and visiting the other, have better relationships with both parents and do better socially, academically and psychologically. But equally shared parenting time can be beneficial for parents, too.
While establishing a 50/50 joint custody plan won’t be appropriate for every family’s situation, having equal or close to equal shared parenting time can be beneficial for your child’s well-being and your own. Here are four benefits to having a balanced joint custody arrangement:
More time to focus on careers
The financial burden parents face after separation or divorce can be immense. However, if both parents share equal responsibility for the time and logistics of childcare, they’ll also have the same amount of time away from their children. This time could be used to work on careers, investing, training opportunities or furthering education.
More equality in parenting roles
Equally shared parenting time can help strengthen a child’s relationship with each parent by allowing them to wear a variety of hats in their role. If one parent was traditionally the disciplinarian in your marriage and the other provided comfort, now each parent will have to be both of these roles.
More financial support
With equal parenting time, one parent is less likely to be solely responsible for out-of-pocket expenses for their kids. Studies have found that parents who spend quality time with their children are more likely to support them financially.
More time for self-care
When you have more alone time with equally shared parenting, it allows you to take care of yourself and pursue your hobbies and interests without guilt or stress. After all, it’s essential to prioritize your individual needs and well-being after your divorce too.
50/50 custody arrangements aren’t right for everyone, but equal parenting time offers plenty of benefits to both children and parents after divorce. Parenting is a difficult job; sharing the responsibilities can make things much easier for everyone.