The Game Changer Of Joint Custody

Law Blog

Many families throughout time have settled for a standard custody arrangement for divorces involving children. In these agreements, mothers usually take primary custody of kids while the father is left to see the kids once every weekend (or every other weekend). While this may be a perfectly fine solution from the mother's point of view, it can be especially taxing on the father to adapt to this schedule. Additionally, children involved in the process may have a hard time adjusting to the change and may suffer with psychological, behavioral, or other stress-related problems as a result. However, research has also proven that families who do a good job of maneuvering through the divorce process are at a lesser risk for these factors. As the years have passed, many families have become more interested in pursuing joint custody instead of a standard custody agreement. Here are things you might need to consider, even after the divorce process is final.

The Definition of Joint Custody

Getting an overall understanding of the nature of joint custody will help you to know if the decision is the right one for your family. When initially hearing the words "joint custody," many people assume that both the mother and father will have the same exact (equally split) time with their children throughout the week, but that is not necessarily true. In order to fulfill the joint custody requirements, parents must have an equal amount of nights by the end of year. This can be achieved by splitting time throughout the week, but it can also be attained by switching off each month or even several months at a time.

Some families may even choose to keep the children in one home, each parent moving in and out of the home (and living in an apartment during the off time) to keep the kids as stable as possible.

Making the Perfect Decision

Since each family is different, you likely have unique circumstances surrounding your case that may feed into the decision you make regarding custody. In order to make sure you are sufficiently prepared to make the right decision, be sure to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Is there any situation involving violence (or record of violent history), drugs, or alcohol abuse for one of the parents that may put the children at risk?
  • Are there special needs for any of the children that one parent may be able to administer more sufficiently?
  • Will joint custody cause any problems or interfere with children's school locations?

Talk to an expert like Reddington & White to help guide your decision.


17 December 2014