Joint custody is an arrangement where both parents share equal responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children after separation or divorce. In Maryland, joint custody is often preferred, and the law favors awarding it unless it is not in the best interest of the child. However, the impact of joint custody on children is still a topic of discussion and research.

In this article, we will explore the effects on children of joint custody in Maryland.

Stability and Consistency

Joint custody provides children with the stability and consistency they need to adjust to the changes in their lives. The children are not uprooted from their homes and have regular and predictable schedules with both parents. They also have a better chance of maintaining their relationships with parents, siblings, and friends.

Children who have stability and consistency in their lives are more likely to do well in school, have fewer emotional and behavioral problems, and adjust better to the divorce.

Co-Parenting Challenges

Co-parenting can be challenging for some parents, which can impact their children. For joint custody in Maryland to work, parents must put their differences aside and work together to make decisions about their children’s lives. When parents argue, fail to communicate, or disagree on important issues, the children can feel caught in the middle, which can result in anxiety, stress, and frustration.

Increased Conflict

Joint custody can increase conflict between parents, which can have a significant impact on children. Children who witness conflict between their parents are more likely to experience emotional distress and have long-term negative effects. Children who experience high levels of conflict between their parents are more likely to have difficulty forming healthy relationships, experience anxiety and depression, and have behavioral issues.

Parenting Styles

Another factor that can impact children in joint custody is parenting styles. When parents have different parenting styles, it can be challenging for children to adjust and can leave them feeling confused and anxious. Parents with different rules, expectations, and standards can also lead to conflict and confusion among children, as they may be unsure of what is expected of them.