Are you weighing the pros and cons of joint child custody? Dealing with your ex-spouse about child custody is not easy as a parent. Here is an introduction to some of the positives and negatives that parents need to consider.
A big part of a couple getting divorced is the splitting of assets and their possessions, and it is rare that this is settled easily, even with lawyers being brought in to help both sides come to an agreement – or so a judge can rule in their favor if reaching an agreement proves to be impossible. What seems to be the hardest thing for parents getting divorced is to come to an agreement regarding the custody of the children.
It is hard enough to decide who gets what assets, but determining who the child lives with is a long process, and often a very emotional one. Most judges will hold off on granting one parent the sole custody of their child, as there is a consensus among judges and lawyers that it is usually in the best interest of the children to grow up with both parents present to whatever capacity. This article will examine the pros and cons of joint child custody.
Pros of Joint Custody
The biggest benefit of joint custody is that the child can grow up with two parents to influence their growth and upbringing. Joint legal and physical custody mean that both parents can make legal decisions for the child, and both have the legal right to live with the child. Also, with both children involved in decision making, it requires the parents to co-exist and work together, which, if the parents can find a good middle ground, only has a better impact on the children’s life. It is also less stressful for either parent since none of them have to deal with everything on their own.
Cons of Joint Custody
But joint child custody isn’t without its problems and can be stressful for both parents. For example, joint physical custody requires the child to regularly go back and forth from parents, sometimes on a weekly basis. With no real sense of home, children can have a hard time getting used to this constant back and forth, with limited time with either parent. Also, not every couple can manage joint custody, depending on how they get along, or if they don’t at all. Devising a parenting schedule, for example, can be complicated and require a lot of negotiation.
When this is the case, the child’s needs can fall to the wayside as fighting trumps their responsibilities as parents. A skilled lawyer can help you understand all of the options at your disposal and find a creative solution for your family that also benefits your children.
So, although it is often best for the child to have two parental figures in their life, it is recognized that joint custody isn’t always best and that sometimes it can be best for everyone if sole custody is awarded.