As someone who has grown accustomed to having your son or daughter sleep in your home every night, it makes sense that you may find it difficult to adjust to a new shared custody arrangement. It may help make the transition easier, however, if you recognize and acknowledge that your joint custody arrangement can actually offer a number of benefits for your child.
According to Time, children whose parents are divorced tend to fare better in numerous areas when they split their time between the homes of both parents, as opposed to residing with one parent or the other, exclusively. Researchers reviewed the situations of about 150,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 to get their findings, studying their emotional well-being, living arrangements and more.
While, overall, kids who lived in “nuclear” families, or those that had both mom and dad living in the same home, experienced the fewest psychosomatic problems, children whose parents had divorced were better off when they lived with both parents at least part of the time. This refutes a common belief that shuffling between both parents’ homes can cause unnecessary stress, instead showing that it can have positive benefits for the child.
Just how do children of divorce benefit when their parents share custody of them? For starters, they are statistically less likely than their peers with divorced parents to have problems relating to sleeping or concentration, and they were also less likely to suffer from headaches or stomachaches. Children whose parents shared custody over them were also less likely to feel tense or sad than their peers who had divorced parents, but lived with only one of them.
In other words, while your joint custody arrangement may not have been your idea or preference, learning how it can benefit your child may make adjusting to it that much easier. Packing up a suitcase every so often is a small price to pay in exchange for the emotional and psychosomatic benefits that come with having both parents care for you during your youth.