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How Joint Custody May Benefit Children

When parents in Kansas get a divorce, they will need to make child custody arrangements. It is important that they understand the research behind child custody instead of relying on ideas that are unsupported by studies. For example, research shows that as long as there are not serious issues such as neglect or abuse, children benefit from joint custody situations.

Parents might worry that these situations will feel disruptive for their children and that the children would rather have one stable home than move between their households. However, in interviews, children reveal that they prefer moving back and forth to having their time with one parent reduced. Another misconception is that infants form strong bonds with mothers in particular and cannot be separated from them. While infants bond differently with each parent, research shows that it is not harmful for infants and toddlers to spend nights with each parent in a shared custody situation.

Parents might worry about how their conflict will affect their ability to manage a joint custody arrangement. In fact, it appears that when children form strong bonds with both parents, this protects them from some of the fallout from conflict between the parents. Furthermore, sole custody arrangements tend to produce more conflict than joint ones. Parents may even find their conflict reduced by joint custody arrangements.

There are a number of steps that a parent may take to reduce conflict and ensure that a co-parenting arrangement runs more smoothly. For example, they might make an agreement to only communicate using text or email and to focus only on matters involving the children. With the help of attorneys, they may be able to create a parenting plan that addresses any potential areas of disagreement or uncertainty. The plan might specify how far in advance parents need to notify one another about vacations or who is responsible for getting the children to which extracurricular activities.

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