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Is joint custody good for parents too?

Every child custody agreement should have the same focus — the child’s best interests. However, it is also wise to consider how a custody arrangement might also affect the parents. While many people in Kentucky understand that joint custody can be good for children, not everyone realizes that this arrangement can also benefit parents. 

Normalizing shared parenting 

In the past, courts generally awarded mothers primary custody while fathers were given visitation time. Although this put the brunt of child rearing responsibility on mothers, child support was typically considered to equalize the arrangement. Although this might have addressed financial inequalities, it did little to actually help mothers juggle their parenting commitments, career and social life. On the other hand, sharing custody 50-50 seems to offer improvement for mothers in: 

  • Finances 
  • Personal lives 
  • Coparenting relationships 

In a Sept. 2020 survey that involved nearly 2,300 single moms, one researcher found that women’s timesharing arrangements directly influence their income and overall well-being. According to the survey, moms with 50-50 parenting schedules have a 54% higher chance to earn $100,000 or more per year compared with moms who have primary custody. That same survey also found that the majority of single moms prefer 50-50 parenting schedules, and 90% of those with unequal parenting schedules believed they would earn more money if they had an equal arrangement. 

Parents are often eager to prioritize child custody during divorce. Understanding the different ways in which child custody might take shape — including primary and joint custody — is important for approaching this process in a healthy manner. Since Kentucky family law can be complicated, some parents find it helpful to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.