Ending a marriage is no doubt one of the hardest choices you ever make. When you have children together, this makes the decision even more difficult. While many parents try their hardest to keep things as normal as possible for the kids, lifestyle changes may make this demanding as one parent usually moves out of the family residence. Why is joint custody so important? 

According to the American Psychological Association, between 40 and 50% of couples in the United States divorce. This statistic increases even higher when it pertains to subsequent marriages. Despite the failure of your marriage, there are certain things that you can do to minimize the impact of the dissolution on your children. Kids fare better when parents keep the lines of communication open and explain to children what is happening. And, making sure that your child’s relationship with both parents is as strong as possible is imperative, which usually equates to joint custody. 

Joint custody does not mean that your child spends exactly the same amount of time with both parents. Rather, it allows you and your ex to cooperatively make decisions about your child in terms of his or her religious and educational background and health matters. And, it gives your kid the chance to have ongoing, regular contact with both you and your former spouse. Children who spend significant amounts of time with each parent are better adjusted, have higher self-esteem and exhibit fewer behavioral problems. 

To make it work best, you together need to spend time devising a regular parenting time schedule that includes weekends and holidays and also allows for some flexibility. As your child ages and becomes involved with more activities and socializing, you may want to modify the schedule to take this into account. Be sure to determine how to most efficiently communicate with your ex. And, keep in mind that your child’s best interests are your priority, which means you should never speak unkindly about your former spouse.