When parents divorce, one of the most challenging issues is who will have custody of the children. Both parents want to be involved in the responsibility of raising their children. Joint custody is the most common child custody arrangement where both parents share responsibility for their child. This can mean that the child lives with both parents equally or that one parent has primary physical custody of the child, with the other parent having visitation rights.
Joint custody arrangements include joint legal custody, where both parents have a say in decisions about the child’s welfare, and joint physical custody, where both parents have equal time with the child. In most cases, parents have joint legal and physical custody.
Benefits of Joint Custody
There are many benefits, both for parents and children. For parents, joint custody can help to reduce conflict and increase cooperation. It can also provide a greater sense of stability for children.
And while joint custody arrangements can be challenging at times, they often provide a more positive parenting experience than either sole custody or visitation arrangements. Therefore, a judge will rule that both parents have joint legal and physical custody in most cases. This allows the children to have equal access to both parents, and both parents share the decision-making.
Drawbacks of Joint Child Custody Arrangements
While joint custody can have many benefits for children, it can also present some challenges. One of the most common problems is that it can be difficult for children to adjust to living in two separate households. They may feel torn between their parents and have difficulty developing a strong sense of identity.
Additionally, this type of arrangement can be logistically complicated, especially if the parents live in different parts of the city or country. Coordinating drop-offs, pick-ups, and extracurricular activities can be a challenge, and it can be tough on both parents and children if there is a lot of back-and-forth.
These are some reasons why a judge may rule for one parent to have sole physical custody and joint legal custody for both. For example, if one parent lives in another area and shared physical custody would disrupt the child’s schooling, the judge may rule that the child live with one parent but grant the other parent extended visitation rights.
Where You Can Go for Help
While joint custody arrangements can be challenging at times, they often provide a more positive parenting experience than either sole custody or visitation arrangements. If you are considering a joint custody arrangement for your family or have questions about how it will work in your specific situation, please contact our attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri for more information.
We have years of experience helping parents resolve child custody issues and can help you create a parenting plan that meets your children’s needs and gives you both the flexibility and stability you need. If you live in San Jose or the greater Bay Area, call us at 408-553-0801 to schedule your free consultation.