Children More Satisfied
Welsh-Osga (1981) compared young children in intact families with joint custody and single custody families.
Children from joint custody were found to be more satisfied with the time spent with both parents. Parents in joint custody were found to be more involved with their children (Joint custody
parents found to be less overburdened by parenting responsibilities than sole custody parents.) Children from all four groups (intact families, sole maternal, sole paternal, joint custody) were found
to be equally well adjusted by their various standardized measures.
Deborah Luepnitz (1982; 1986) studied single parent custody and joint custody. Most single parent children were dissatisfied with the amount
of contact they had, whereas the children of joint custody arrangements seemed reasonably happy with their exposure to both their parents. Other advantages
noted were more reliance by the parents on each other for childcare and prevention of parent “burnout” via more time off from the duties of parenting. The
quality of the parent-child relationship was determined to be better for joint custody. The non-custodial parent relationship is described as more like a
visiting aunt or uncle-child relationship.
Children whose parents have joint custody appeared to have retained two “psychological” parents in their lives. Whereas half of the children in
single parent custody never see the other parent at all, all of the joint custody children have regular contact with both parents.
Welsh-Osga B (1981). The Effects of Custody Arrangements on Children of Divorce. Doctoral thesis University of South Dakota. UMI No.
82-6914. (Transcribed from www.mensweb.org/throop/custody-divorce/studies/joint.html).
Luepnitz D. A (1982). Child Custody: A Study of Families after Divorce. Lexington Books: Lexington,
D. A (1986). A Comparison of Maternal, Paternal, and Joint Custody: Understanding
the Varieties of Post-Divorce Family Life. Journal of Divorce 9(3): 1-12