If you are getting a
divorce and you have children, you will be putting a lot of thought into your
child custody and visitation arrangement. You may have heard of an emerging
trend where both parents share equally, or almost equally in the raising
of the children. It’s called joint physical custody.
Is joint physical right for your family? If you are both loving parents
who are committed to raising your children in a happy, healthy environment,
setting your differences aside and focusing on the children may be the
best way to soften the blow of divorce for your family.
In the 80s and 90s it wasn’t uncommon for the mother to have custody
of the children, with the father having visits once a week and every other
weekend. In these arrangements, the father would get very little time
with his children, which for many fathers was unfair.
Some of the best divorces involve joint physical
custody but it’s not appropriate for every family. In the absence of domestic
violence or substance abuse, joint physical custody can be beneficial
for the parents and children.
Joint physical custody has become increasingly popular nationwide, and
it’s proven successful because the children are able to grow up
with both parents playing an active role in their lives. When parents
can be friendly and flexible, it reduces conflict.
Benefits of joint custody:
- The child sees both parents regularly
- Both parents are entitled to live with their child
- There is less stress and responsibility (raising a child alone can be demanding
on one parent)
- The parents have more reason to be polite and friendly towards each other
- Joint custody splits the responsibility of childrearing
Joint custody is not for everyone. Only you know your spouse and whether
you can be friendly to each other for the sake of your children. Joint
custody often means frequent contact and communication with your child’s
other parent. If you can make it work, it could be highly beneficial for
Child custody is a very personal matter and there is no “one size
fits all” approach. If you feel that you can both remain in the
same school zone and set aside your differences, it may be right for you.
Contact our office so our Los Angeles child custody attorney can help you weigh the pros
and cons of this arrangement before you make a decision.