Every Child

Has Two Parents


The Benefits of Joint Child Custody


This page is discusses the benefits of joint custody over sole custody.  If you need information to show your ex-spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse why shared parenting is a good thing, there are lots of excellent references on the sites in the Resources section.  Some of this may appear at first to be father-centric resources.  This is not the intent.  But it does appear that more studies have focused on benefits of a father's continued contact than the other way around.  If you have information that discusses the benefits of mothers in joint custody, just send them to the webmaster who will be glad to add them to this list.


  1. TBD - These will be Japan specific.


  1. Parental Equality WebsiteA list of over two dozen expert studies reveal that shared parenting is the most child-friendly solution following marriage or relationship breakdown.  This site also has a PDF booklet entitled "The Best Parent is Both Parents®: Expert Evidence in Favour of Shared Parenting." that gives additional references to support Shared Parenting. There are many more free downloads of good information supporting shared parenting here.

  2. The National Children's Rights Council of the United States has a lot of references on joint custody on their website.  http://www.gocrc.com/research/jcbib.html Some of these are listed here, but there are more detailed descriptions on this page.

  3. Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in the United States.  This paper compares divorce rate trends in the United States in states that encourage joint physical custody (shared parenting) with those in states that favor sole custody.

  4. Kelly, J. B. (2000). Children’s adjustment in conflicted marriage and divorce: A decade review of  research. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 963-973. This article reviews research from the 1990s concerning the effects of divorce and marital conflict on children’s adjustment.  See the abstract

  5. Kelly, J., Current research on children's postdivorce adjustment. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 31.29-49, 1993.

  6. Amato, P. R. (2000). The consequences of divorce for adults and children. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62(4), 1269-1287.  This paper uses a divorce-stress-adjustment perspective to review 1990s empirical literature on the consequences of divorce for adults and children. See the abstract

  7. Christoffersen, M. N. (1998). Growing up with dad: A comparison of children aged 3-5 years old living  with their mothers or their fathers. Childhood, 5(1), 41-54.

  8. Adolescents After Divorce, Buchanan, C., Maccoby, and Dornbusch, Harvard University Press,1996.

  9. Division 16, School Psychology, American Psychological Association, Report to the U.S. Commission on Child and Family Welfare, June 14, 1995.

  10. Bender, W.N. 1994. Joint custody: The option of choice. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 21 (3/4): 115-131.

  11. Wilkinson, Ronald Richard, "A Comparison of Children's Post-divorce Adjustment in Sole and Joint Physical Custody Arrangements Matched for Types of Parental Conflict" Doctoral dissertation, 1992; Texas Woman's University.

  12. Rockwell-Evans, Kim Evonne, "Parental and Children's Experiences and Adjustment in Maternal Versus Joint Custody Families " Doctoral dissertation, 1991. North Texas State U.

  13. Glover, R. and C. Steele, "Comparing the Effects on the Child of Post-divorce Parenting Arrangements," Journal of Divorce, Vol. 12, No. 2-3 (1989).

  14. Ilfeld, Holly Zingale "Children's perceptions of their relationship with their fathers in three family constellations: mother sole custody, joint custody and intact families" Doctoral dissertation, U. of California, Davis 1989.

  15. Seltzer, J. A. (1998). "Father by Law: Effects of Joint Legal Custody on Non-residential Fathers Involvement with Children," NSFH Paper No. 75, Feb., 1997, U. of Wisconsin-Madison,  "Controlling for the quality of family relationships before separation and socioeconomic status, fathers with joint legal custody see their children more frequently, have more overnight visits, and pay more child support than fathers in families in which mothers have sole legal custody."  Published in journal Demography, 35(2),135-146. May have been online at http://ssc.wisc.edu/cde/nsfhwp/home.htm but this link no longer appears to function.

  16. Clarke, S.C., Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics, 1989 and 1990. Monthly Vital Statistics  Report, Vol. 43, No. 9, 1995. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health  Statistics.  "In 1990 the wife was awarded custody of the children almost three-fourths (72 percent) of the time in those divorces in which custody was awarded. Joint custody was the second most common arrangement (16 percent) while husbands were awarded custody in 9 percent of these divorces."

The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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