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Joint Physical Custody

Posted by attorney Howard Lewis

Joint or shared physical custody can take many forms. Some children spend alternate weeks with each parent. Some spend Monday and Tuesday in one home, Wednesday and Thursday in the other, and alternate the weekends. Shared parenting plans work only when the parents can put their animosities aside and focus on what's best for their children. Obviously, these parents will have frequent contact with each other and will have to work cooperatively to coordinate schedules, locate lost book bags, and make sure one of them picks up the children from activities. They will also need to live fairly close to each other.

Joint custody is not for all parents. Joint custody is not for all children, either. The children are in emotional turmoil and may have a hard time remembering a complex parenting. Joint physical custody is usually not a good plan for babies and very young children. Babies and small children are generally bonded to a primary caregiver. Frequent or lengthy separations from their primary caregiver can lead to all sorts of emotional problems in young children.

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