Divorcing parents in Florida must decide which custody option is right for their family. Sole custody and joint custody both have benefits and drawbacks. Families in different situations may find one more useful than another. It depends on the situation that family is in and what they want out of the divorce.
The American Psychology Association examines the potential benefits of joint custody. All members of a family can benefit, but the primary person who benefits is the child. This aligns with what the court looks at when determining custody matters. They always hold the child’s needs above all else. For this reason, they are more likely to lean toward joint custody rather than sole custody.
Parents must be able to come together and co-parent in order for joint custody to work. This is true regardless of whether it is physical or legal joint custody. This tends to help the family dynamic on a whole. Parents who cooperate often have a better foundation for handling arguments. This stability is crucial for children in the aftermath of a split. If they feel that their parents are able to stick together and work toward a common goal, they are less likely to:
- Act out
- Develop unhealthy coping mechanisms
- Suffer from negative mental side effects of divorce, like increased anxiety
- Become argumentative against figures of authority
There are still situations in which sole custody is the best option. For example, if a parent is in jail or an active member of the military, they will not be around often. If one parent has a history of abuse, the court will not recommend joint custody either. It all depends on an individual family’s unique situation.