When deciding who gets custody of a child, emotions often get in the way, and parents may make a decision that is not in the best interest of the child. Rather than thinking about what they each want, each parent should consider what situation would be the healthiest for the child’s wellbeing.
Although there are exceptions, in many cases joint custody is the best option.
According to FindLaw, whether parents decide, or the courts do, they must make decisions regarding both physical and legal custody. There can be sole or joint custody for either or both, and if the child lives with one parent solely, the other parent has visitation rights. In Illinois, children older than 13 have a say regarding who they live with, although a judge must approve.
Benefits of joint custody
Joint physical custody decisions are becoming more common, and there are multiple reasons for this. According to Science Daily, children who live with both parents are generally less stressed. One theory for this is that in sole custody situations, the child often experiences the loss of friends, relatives and money. Only seeing the other parent every once in a while is also a stressful experience.
Better psychological health tends to be the trend in joint custody situations, even if the parents do not get along or the child does not have the best relationship with each one. When a child lives 50/50 with each parent, not only does it strengthen and stabilize the relationship between the child and the parents, but the parents also are more active in the child’s life.