When Joint Physical Custody Works

Posted on: 20 July 2018

Going through a divorce is hard. It is never easier on you or your ex-spouse. If you have kids, it is even especially harder on them when their parents fight and split up from each other. Hopefully both parties can agree to joint custody. But while it has its benefits it's only likely to work if:

It's What You Both Want

One of the hardest things to do is to force a parent to raise their child in a manner they don't want. So, joint physical custody will not be easy if both or one of you would is not totally for it. In such a case, you will find the person who doesn't want joint custody always working to undermine the other and qualify for sole physical custody. For example, they may be unreasonably rigid with the schedule so that you can fail and they can use your failure as an excuse to seek sole custody.

You Get Along Together

An efficient joint physical custody arrangement is where you coordinate with each other. This is necessary because the children will be spending alternate periods at your respective houses, their lives don't need to flip every time they move from one parent to another. For example, it shouldn't be that they can stay up late in one house but have to go to bed early at another house. Obviously, you can only coordinate and ensure the kid's life is seamless if you get along with each other.

You Live Close To Each Other

Since joint physical custody means shuttling back and forth between different household, it only makes sense if there are no geographical constraints. It won't work if you have to board two planes to pick up or return the kids; you should be living relatively close to each other.

There Is No History of Child Abuse

In any form of custody arrangement, the kid's welfare should take precedence over the parents' wishes. Since there is nothing as bad for your kid as child abuse, you should not even consider a joint physical custody if the kid has suffered child abuse in the hands of the other parent in the past. In such a case, you will only be endangering the child's life.

There Is No History of Kidnapping

Lastly, joint physical custody may also fail if one of you has suspected the other of trying to kidnap the child in the past. For example, if you suspect the other parent of trying to run away with the child during the divorce, you will spend sleepless nights when the child is with that parent thinking that they can run away at any time. In fact, you may even find yourself resorting to unorthodox means to keep the two apart.

If you need help with your divorce case you can contact a law firm like Patricia L Riddick PLLC Atty.        

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