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Is joint custody best for you and your kids?

If you and your spouse have begun divorce proceedings in Virginia, your post-divorce custody arrangement probably is one of your biggest mutual concerns. Each of you wants what is best for your kids, and neither of you likely believes that a weekend father or mother is in their best interests. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of judges, family law attorneys, child psychologists and divorced parents agree with you. For them, joint custody is far preferable for children and parents alike in all but abuse and/or neglect situations.

Gone are the days when a mother automatically gained sole custody of her children, especially the young ones. Today, more and more divorcing couples choose joint custody, and more and more judges heartily approve such a choice.

Children’s benefits

As reported by, researches recently studied children from divorced homes. What they found is that when a child’s mother and father share custody, (s)he benefits in many ways, including the following:

  • (S)he suffers from less stress, anxiety and depression.
  • (S)he does better academically.
  • (S)he interacts better with his or her peers, such as during extracurricular activities.
  • (S)he has less likelihood of being drawn into alcohol, tobacco or drug usage.
  • (S)he has the opportunity to maintain meaningful relationships with his or her relatives on both sides of the family.

Parents’ benefits

In addition to the ways in which your kids benefit from joint custody, you likewise receive many benefits. You and your ex-spouse face a better post-divorce life when custody and visitation are no longer nagging issues between you. Shared custody mandates cooperation and agreement between the two of you. As you work out child-related issues in your kids’ best interests, you may find that you also work out adult issues more amicably as well. Most of all you can watch your kids thrive as they grow up secure in the knowledge that each of you loves them and is there for them whenever they need you.

This information is educational only; you should not interpret it as legal advice.

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Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates
124 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

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