Not everyone is certain exactly what “shared custody” is and some people confuse the term with joint custody or equal parenting. “Shared” custody, however, typically refers to physical custody situations in which a child lives and spends time with both parents.
While some people might think that shared custody is always best, the appropriateness of this arrangement often depends on a number of personal factors including a child’s age, the child’s disposition, and the distance between the former spouses’ homes.
The following will review some of the most common situations in which shared custody is not the best type of arrangement.
Children Have Difficulty Adjusting to Shared Custody
Switching between parental homes can be an extremely difficult process for children. Young children, in particular, are likely to experience negative emotions as a result of this arrangement. For one, children are required to keep track of their belongings and know at which parent’s house any given item is located at any given time. This can be stressful for young ones, and a burden that distracts them from their studies or extracurricular pursuits.
If children feel like they do not have a home or feel forced to split life between homes, shared custody is likely not the best choice.
If a family does not have enough money to buy children two sets of everything, sharing custody may not be the best idea.
When Distance is Involved
When parents who live a significant distance apart attempt to shared custody, it is inevitable that the children will spend a great deal of time traveling between the houses. Being required to shuttle children between homes in this manner can be time and energy consuming for the entire family. In these situations, shared custody is often not the best idea.
Shared Parenting Means a Child Spends More Time in Day Care
If one parent in a shared custody arrangement works a good deal of the time, it is important to understand that this often means a child will end up receiving day care instead of actually spending time with the parent.
Deciding on shared custody in these situations is often not the best idea for any involved children Instead, shared custody only works if both parents are able to spend enough time with the child.
If the Parents do Not Get Along
One of the things that can have the most negative impact on children is conflict between parents. If you and a former spouse are constantly fighting and not able to agree on anything, it is a wise idea to arrive at another type of arrangement than shared custody. This is because shared custody means that you and your former spouse will frequently be required to interact with one another, which may not be feasible in all situations.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
To discover what type of parenting arrangement will work best for your family following a divorce, speak with a knowledgeable lawyer. At Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C., we have helped numerous families navigate these complex situations. Contact our law office today to schedule a free initial consultation.