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How does sole custody affect children?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Family Law

When opting for a type of child custody after divorce, you have several options to go through. Two of the most common include sole and joint or shared custody.

Sole custody remains a good option in certain cases, especially when one spouse faces allegations of abuse or mistreatment of the children. However, it can also impact children in a negative way.

Sole custody and coping

Psychology Today talks about the way sole custody can affect children of divorce. Studies comparing children of sole custody and children of joint custody highlight the differences in several points, including coping mechanisms, adaptation and overall mental health.

Regarding coping mechanisms, children of sole custody seem to have a harder time developing healthy ones. This shows in early childhood, leading to children lashing out and acting out in school. In later life and adulthood, it can manifest in issues with addiction to alcohol or gambling, along with relationship problems.

Handling the stress of change

Children of sole custody tend to struggle with adapting to changing situations, too. They tend to feel more stress when faced with big changes. Combined with the aforementioned issue, this makes it hard for them to readjust to life after major things change in it. This can completely block a person’s ability to move forward in life.

As for mental health, children of sole custody have a higher rate of depression, anxiety, and stress or trauma-related disorders. They also have more serious cases of the aforementioned issues.

This does not hold true for every child of sole custody. However, it is something to keep in mind when making a decision.