Divorced or separated parents sometimes feel that a joint custody agreement is the most fair, but Phoenix family lawyers may discourage this type of child custody arrangement because of the complications that can arise.
FindLaw states that true joint custody arrangements (parents share both physical custody and legal custody rights) are rare because of their potential to cause personal difficulties and practical problems. Joint legal custody is much more common, which allows both parents to share the right to make long-term decisions about the raising of a child, but the child resides with predominantly one parent.
Joint physical custody arrangements require the child to spend a significant portion of time with each parent. An example of this type of arrangement might be when the child spends weekends and holidays with one parent, while spending weekdays with the other. Sometimes children alternate months, years, or six-month periods with parents. The schedule of the children and visitation is usually determined by work requirements, housing arrangements and the children's needs.
True joint custody can have its advantages in that it ensures that the children will be involved with both parents. Such an arrangement can also alleviate some of the burdens of parenting for each parent. However, a joint physical custody arrangement can be a hassle for the children that are involved, since they'll constantly be shuttled around between parents. When parents do not cooperate in this type of arrangement, it can also have serious negative effects on the children.
Whatever type of custody you decide upon, it is always best to meet with a Phoenix family lawyer in order to ensure it is the best type for you and your family.