Joint physical custody involves two parents sharing time with their children equally. The parents will essentially set up two separate living environments in their respective homes and their children will -- in fact -- have two different homes. According to most family psychologists, children adapt well to these circumstances and benefit from enjoying equal time living with both of their parental figures.
Here's a little bit more about when joint physical custody can work for parents and kids:
- Joint custody arrangements are best when the parents can agree with one another. If the parents are constantly fighting, they won't have the ability to agree on the daily issues that they encounter and need to decide as co-parents.
- The parents should also live close to one another, or at least close enough so that it's convenient for the parents to drop off and pick up the children from one another's homes.
- Both parents also have to have the energy, ability and interest in being highly involved in their children's lives. The fact of the matter is that some parents just aren't that interested in being parents. In joint custody arrangements, it's vital that both parents are engaged, involved and active in their children's lives.
- Neither parent has been involved in kidnapping, domestic abuse or child abuse in the past.
If you think that you and your ex-spouse are good candidates for joint physical custody parenting arrangements, you can build this into your child custody and parenting plan. When managed appropriately, families and their children can benefit a great deal from these kinds of arrangements.