Joint child custody arrangements are the most common arrangements because the court generally wants a child to have equal access to both parents while developing. When it comes to equal custody, joint custody or 50/50 custody is about as equal as it gets.
Joint custody may be the most common, but it’s not always the best arrangement. Parents’ jobs, mental or physical health issues, financial concerns, and the children’s best interests are all things that must be considered when evaluating what type of child custody arrangement is best for your family.
We can’t tell you which type of child custody is best for you. However, we will discuss why joint custody is the most common arrangement in the US. Topics we’ll cover include:
- Joint Custody Definition
- Potential Benefits and Challenges with Joint Custody
- How to Save $1,000’s on Joint Custody Arrangements with Unbundled Legal Help
Joint custody: the most common child custody arrangement
Child custody is the legal right to make decisions about the care and control of a child, including both physical and legal custody. The court tends to favour joint custody arrangements; however, you should negotiate an arrangement that’s in your child’s best interests.
Joint custody is where both parents share time with the child and make decisions regarding their health, education, and welfare. It doesn’t need to be a 50/50 split where the child spends equal amounts of time with each adult. Time with each parent with joint custody could be 65/35 or 70/30, however, both parents can still have a say in major life decisions for their child.
Check out the Ultimate Guide To Child Custody to see the other types of child custody and what you need to create the perfect child custody arrangement for you and your child.
Joint child custody advantages
Joint child custody provides numerous benefits to both parents and children. Here are some of the main advantages of joint custody.
The child’s needs come first
Regarding child custody arrangements, your child’s best interests are the most crucial to consider.
According to Richard A. Warshak of Statnews, children who spend at least 35% of the time with each parent, rather than live with one and visit the other, have better relationships with their fathers and mothers and do better academically, socially, and psychologically.
Joint custody allows children equal access to their parents, providing a stronger support system for them as they go through life and reducing chances of substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses.
Stronger relationships between parents and children
Joint custody allows parents to jointly make decisions about their children’s upbringing, creating a sense of teamwork and partnership. Through shared custody, children can benefit from both parents’ love, attention, and guidance, fostering a positive and supportive relationship. Having both parents involved in the child’s life helps form a strong bond between the parent and child, leading to better communication and understanding.
Cost savings for parents
Joint custody allows parents to share the costs of raising their children. Joint custody can be especially beneficial for divorced parents, as both parties can share the financial burden of childcare, school supplies, medical bills, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, the legal cost savings associated with joint custody vs. sole or primary can ease the financial strain of raising children, allowing both parents to continue to provide their children with the best opportunities in life.
Joint custody challenges
Joint custody isn’t sunshine and rainbows for everyone. Lifestyles, personal conflicts, and personal struggles clash at the expense of the child’s well-being.
If you face joint custody challenges, you should consult a child custody attorney. Connect with an affordable child custody attorney in your area who will help you determine what type of custody is right for your situation. → Affordable Child Custody Attorneys
Joint child custody can be a challenge for those with jobs or businesses requiring extended or unusual hours or if they are away for long periods, like those serving in the military. Also, if personal schedules, religious restrictions, or location are an issue, joint custody may not be a good fit for you.
If parents have a contentious relationship, joint custody can be complicated. The child may be caught in the middle of parental conflict, be used as a pawn in their arguments, or be subject to parental alienation. Parental conflict creates emotional distress for the child and can challenge the parents.
Mental, physical, and financial health considerations
- Mental health issues. Joint custody can present challenges for parents who suffer from addiction, mental illness, or other forms of instability. If parents cannot provide a safe and healthy environment for the child, joint custody may not be an option.
- Physical health issues. Parents with a long-term illness, bedridden, or otherwise physically incapable may hurt the child’s growth with joint custody if they cannot execute their role as decision-makers for the child due to their physical condition. I’m not talking about a broken leg; it’s more like morbid obesity or renal failure.
- Financial health issues. Joint custody may not be a good idea if one parent is defaulting on mortgage payments, rent, utilities, and car payments or is not financially able to provide a stable environment for the child.
Homemakers or non-working spouses may need more resources to provide a home for the child. Alimony and child support can help you with covering those expenses and help you get back into the workforce, and you should request these arrangements from the court and your spouse.
Unbundled child custody attorneys save clients $1,000’s
Joint custody is the most common arrangement because it’s better for the child, creates stronger familial relationships, and is less expensive in the long run. The courts don’t want to ruin lives; they want what’s best for the child and the parents. Challenges to joint custody come mostly from lifestyle and parental conflicts, as well as mental, health, or financial considerations for the parents.
Unbundled Legal Help’s network of affordable child custody attorneys can help craft the perfect custody arrangement for your child. Get a free consultation with an affordable child custody attorney.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.