When it comes to child custody decisions, there are many variables that must be considered. Years back, the children usually ended up living with their mothers once the parents were divorced. This rule is not set in stone anymore, and more families are in favor of joint custody.
Simply put, joint custody allows both parents to have the same amount of responsibility to care for their children; this includes legal and physical custody. Legal custody is geared toward decision-making for topics like religion and school. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and with which parent they spend more time with. The latter does not have to be equal, but it allows both parents to have frequent time with the children.
Upside of Joint Custody
An extensive study looked at the benefits of having two divorced parents involved in their children’s lives. The research team looked at 50 different studies and concluded that children who spend 35 percent or more of their time with a parent are more likely to have a better relationship with that parent. It went on to say that these children fared better academically, socially, and psychologically. Although there was some disagreement about mothers needing to spend more time with infants and babies, the study showed that parents that spend more time with their children respond better and contribute more to their children’s success.
Downside of Joint Custody
Although joint custody may be the best choice, it is not for everyone. For parents already involved in their children’s lives that plan to continue doing so, it can work. Sometimes though, parents seek joint custody for other reasons, such as vengeance against the other parent. Another reason to not pursue joint custody is when a child has special needs or other issues. Going back and forth to houses and adjusting to changing schedules can be difficult for children with disorders, anxiety, and other issues. It can also be challenging when one parent travels frequently or moves far away.
Things to Consider
When thinking about joint custody, parents should be in agreement on certain things. There should be no history of domestic violence or abuse by either party. The parents should also live close enough to one another for logistics, and should both want to be closely involved with raising the children. It is also essential that they cooperate when making decisions and agree that joint custody is in their children’s best interests. Once that is sorted out, the parents can work out living and visitation schedules. Parents should look into their state’s guidelines for joint physical custody; some require that each parent spend a certain amount of time with the children for it to be considered.
South Jersey Child Custody Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Help Clients with All Types of Child Custody Issues
If you have a child custody issue that you would like resolved, contact the South Jersey child custody lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC today. We put your children’s needs first. For a free consultation, fill out an online form. With offices in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.