Breaking the Stigma of Sole Custody: The Benefits of Shared Parenting After Divorce

Divorce is a traumatic event that disrupts the lives of all parties involved. For a long time, sole custody was the norm, with one parent awarded full custody while the other was allowed limited visitation rights. However, this antiquated approach to parenting after divorce is shifting as more and more parents opt for shared parenting. Shared parenting involves both parents sharing equal responsibility for their children post-divorce. Unfortunately, this form of parenting still carries a stigma, with many people believing that it is not in the children’s best interest. In this article, we will explore the benefits of shared parenting after divorce and how it can break the stigma surrounding sole custody.

Shared parenting puts the needs of the children first

When parents divorce, children are often caught in the middle, and custody battles can be brutal. With sole custody, one parent is awarded complete control over the children’s lives, while the other parent is restricted in their involvement. This arrangement can be detrimental to the children’s emotional and mental health because they would have to deal with the stress of not seeing one parent as frequently.

Shared parenting, on the other hand, puts the needs of the children first. Both parents are actively involved in the children’s lives, and decisions are made jointly. This approach ensures that the children have access to both parents, allowing them to form and maintain a close relationship with them. Moreover, children of shared parenting often show better social and emotional development.

Shared parenting reduces parental conflict

One of the biggest advantages of shared parenting is it reduces parental conflict. With sole custody, bitterness and resentment can quickly brew between parents, leading to hostility and animosity. The friction may creep into the parent-child relationship, ultimately affecting the child. On the other hand, when parenting is shared, both parents work together, reducing conflict and providing a more stable home environment for their children.

Shared parenting is fairer to both parents.

The traditional approach to divorce and child custody proceedings has been biased towards mothers instead of fathers. Men are often seen as the breadwinners or providers and not well-equipped to care for their children. As a result, sole custody has been the norm, and fathers have had limited access to their children.

Shared parenting provides a fairer approach to parenting after divorce. It treats both parents equally, regardless of gender, and ensures that both parties have equal rights and responsibilities in raising their children. This more balanced approach recognizes that both parents are important in their children’s lives and that both should have a role in their upbringing.


Breaking the stigma surrounding sole custody is crucial for improving the lives of families affected by divorce. Shared parenting is an equitable, child-centered approach that offers a range of benefits for children and their parents. It puts the needs of the children first, reduces parental conflict, and prevents one parent from carrying the burden of raising children on their own. It is time to embrace shared parenting, encourage more parents to consider it, and support families in making it work.

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