Joint physical custody can present challenges for both of a child’s parents. This is especially true if one parent lives in another state, has an overseas contract with the military or works many long hours every week. If a couple is cooperative over the course of the divorce process, however, they can usually work out an agreement for sharing physical custody that is suitable for both parties involved.
Does it need to move through the legal system?
While it is more beneficial to children for both parents to cooperate, a judge is necessary in some instances. This is true in cases where arrangements can’t get worked out between a mediator and the parents. The physical custody issues should be worked out in the family law system to ensure the best possible outcome for the child.
When does joint physical custody work the best?
Joint physical custody works the best when both parents are in proximity to each other because one parent can have the child for a day or two and the other parent can have the child the next day. However, in many cases, this is a difficult schedule to maintain consistently because people get sick, have to stay late for work, run errands, go to appointments and otherwise experience a change in normal day-to-day operations.
The importance of communication
Of course, physical custody agreements are always subject to change, especially once the child gets older and more involved with school activities or sports. Engaging in these activities is more time-consuming for both parents. Thus, it is beneficial for parents to have a history of positive communication between them.
An ideal custody arrangement when it comes to physical custody is for both parents to live near each other and set up a custody arrangement between themselves. However, this isn’t always possible, so parents may need to rely on attorneys to help them navigate the court system. If you have questions regarding custody, a family law attorney may help.