Pros And Cons Of Joint Custody

Law Blog

If you are currently going through a divorce and have minor children, a big decision to make is whether you want to ask for sole custody or joint custody. Joint custody, also called shared custody, allows you and your spouse to each have physical and legal custody of your children. You can choose how to make the arrangements, such as you having them during the week, or splitting up the time every few days. You may have them in your home from Monday to Thursday, and they stay with your spouse from Friday to Sunday. Regardless of how you work it out, there are things to consider first. Here are the pros and cons of choosing joint custody.

Pro: Each parent gets quality time with the children

This is actually a benefit for both the parents and the children. You and your spouse will be able to spend close to an equal amount of time with your children, so neither of you feel like the situation is unfair or unjust. This can help you adjust to the divorce just as much as your children. For the children, it is often the preferred method as it helps them get used to this difficult transition.

Con: Scheduling can become complicated

If you are currently not getting along with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it can be difficult having to arrange schedules and planning of the days you will have the children in your home and vice versa. There may come a time when you need to change the arrangements, and fighting or arguing really gets in the way of that. Even if you are currently on friendly terms, the scheduling conflicts often become frustrating.

Pro: It encourages open communication

It is important to keep communicating with your spouse if you have children together. With joint custody, you have a reason to keep speaking with them, and this is good for the children. You will keep conversing back and forth with shared custody, which helps you continue making decisions together for the best interest of your children.

Con: The children are moving around often

One of the biggest disadvantages to a joint custody arrangement is that your children will be bouncing around a lot. It may feel like they don't have a home or stable place because they split their time between your house and your spouse's. You might find that it is easier to have them during the entire school week, while your spouse has them on the weekend. The closer you live to each other, the easier it will be on the kids.

Pro: You get a break from parenting

Being a single parent is difficult, especially in the beginning. With shared custody established through divorce law in Calgary, you still have time to get your own things done while the children stay with your spouse. This is another benefit to joint custody that is especially advantageous during the transition period. You don't have to worry as much about childcare when you have last-minute things come up, as your spouse may be able to take your children on those days.


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