As a Pennsylvania parent in the process of a divorce, your children’s post-divorce happiness and welfare probably rank right at the top of your list of concerns. If you and your spouse are like most divorcing couples, (s)he, too, has deep concerns about the children. You both realize that your family is breaking up and that this breakup will affect your children for the rest of their lives. You both want to minimize its negative effects on them.

Given that both you and your spouse love your children and both of you want to remain integral parts of their lives, you probably will do well to consider joint custody of them. Over the years, joint custody has become the preferred custody arrangement of not only child psychologists, but also of family law judges and attorneys, legislators and parents themselves.

Childhood benefits

As you might expect, your children can derive many benefits from post-divorce joint custody. A recent study confirms all of the following joint custody benefits:

  • Your kids probably will maintain better grades.
  • They probably will establish and maintain better peer relationships.
  • They probably will exhibit fewer signs of anxiety, stress and depression during and after your divorce.
  • They probably will stay at low risk for alcohol or drug abuse.
  • They probably will maintain close relationships with their extended families.

Parental benefits

Your children are not the only ones who can benefit from a post-divorce joint custody arrangement. You, too, can derive benefits such as the following:

  • You and your ex-spouse probably will achieve and preserve a better post-divorce relationship.
  • You both will probably cooperate better with each other in the best interests of your children.
  • You both will probably have more incentive to abide by your parenting plan.
  • You both will have the pleasure and satisfaction of remaining an important part of your children’s lives.

Naturally, post-divorce joint custody is not for all couples. Both you and your former spouse must fully commit yourselves to it and work together to make it work. Nevertheless, in all but the most contentious divorce and post-divorce situations, joint custody represents a win-win situation for all concerned.