When it comes to shared custody, it is the young children who are most impacted by it as they are caught in the crossfire between their parents. Divorce is hard, both emotionally and financially on both the husband and the wife. Once both the parties agree to separate, they can contest for sole custody but unless one party or the other can present concrete evidence of an unsafe environment, most courts would usually award the custody of children to both the parents; in other words, unless concrete evidence can be presented most courts opt for shared custody. But several studies by child specialists have shown that this form of shared custody is not normal and as a result, the young child may even suffer from identity disorder as a result. Here’s to taking a closer look at some of the negative effects of shared custody.
Loss of home: With shared custody children often have to shuffle between their mom’s home and their dad’s home. As a result, they feel the loss of their home, since all this constant shuffling between two homes leaves them disconnected and a loss of permanence. Thanks to the shared custody, it is the kids who have to deal with the mess; all the constant moving between two homes leaves them feeling like the odd one out and makes them feel like a stranger out of place. This feeling is further enhanced with any changes to the current set up with either of their parents or both, remarrying again. As a result, most kids who have been tagged to suffer shared custody often grow up with this feeling of never belonging anywhere.
Lack of consistency: The period between 5 years of age until the kid attains maturity is often considered to be the most important one in a child’s development. It is around this time that the young child picks up his values, knows his preferences, including his likes and dislikes. Sentencing such kids who are poised at an important stage of their development, to shared custody, only put them through additional stress. Moreover, kids need a certain amount of consistency and rules to build their lives around and with this shared custody and different rules around each place with new regulations, the child in question may find all of this overwhelming.
Extra expenditure: Often parents who share custody tend to spend more money on their kids than they had before. While it could be argued that the parents who do this, do so out of a sense of feeling guilty, but the fact remains that nearly 50% of the kids who had to put up with shared custody rarely go to college. This is mainly on account of the fact that they often overspend on their kids and no longer have the requisite funds to send them to a good college.
Depression: Some of the kids who experience shared custody often become depressed as a result. Unless corrective measures including counseling are taken, the depression may turn out to be a chronic health condition.
These are some of the negative effects of shared custody which is why we need to do all we can to better protect our children.