Most people think of child custody as just one in a number of divorce-related issues. Like asset division, child custody can be seen in a “win-lose” paradigm, where each divorcing spouse is trying to get as much of the pie as possible.
However, when this approach is taken in child custody matters, it can be disastrous for the children involved. Child custody involves intimate emotional and personal aspects of your child or children’s upbringing. As such, this aspect of a divorce or separation should be considered in a different light.
According to a journal article published by The Future of Children, there are significant consequences for children growing up in single parent households. Although a pending divorce is likely to preclude any possibility of a perfectly integrated, continuous two-parent family situation for your children, it is important to work together if possible to create a parenting plan that allows both parents to be as active as possible.
Significant issues that arise for single parent families, including:
Economic challenges increase in single-parent environments. Active, healthy relationships with both parents can create a sense of security to diminish the stress that children can experience from economic challenges.
Consistency in parenting tends to diminish. Parenting can be extremely difficult even for two parents working together as spouses to create a consistent approach to child-rearing and discipline. For any parent working alone, the parenting responsibility can be overwhelming. By creating a parenting plan that encourages as much involvement from both parents as possible, you will can provide a much more consistent and stable environment for your child or children.
Children can experience an increased exposure to stress after their parents divorce. This stress is likely to increase if a child’s exposure to one of the parents significantly decreases after a divorce. You can minimize this stress for your child by working together to keep both parents involved.
If you are facing a divorce, it is important to handle the child custody aspects of the proceedings carefully, work amicably together and do whatever you can to create a parenting plan that involves both spouses in the parenting responsibilities as much as possible.