By far the most popular variety of custody agreement following a divorce is joint custody, also known as co-parenting. There is an ample amount of evidence that suggests children do best with both parents as an active presence in their lives, even if those parents are not married and do not cohabitate.
However, co-parenting is not necessarily easy on the parents. Particularly if you have a sticky relationship with your ex-spouse, you may be hoping for sole custody. However, this is not likely. According to Findlaw, sole custody is generally only awarded in cases when one parent is struggling with addiction or has a proven history of abuse.
What is the difference between joint and sole custody?
There are two types of custody concerning children : legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to who makes decisions on the behalf of the child regarding education, religious upbringing, and medical care.
Physical custody refers to where the child lives. In a joint custody situation, both parents share legal and physical custody. In a sole custody situation only one parent has these rights. The non-custodial parent may have visitation periods with the children, but the children will not reside with him or her.
What are the benefits of joint custody?
The court is going to act in the best interest of the child. This is why child support requirements are so stringent. With current research, joint custody does the most for children in terms of their development. This is why even if sole custody would be “easier” in the eyes of the parents, the court will not rule in this fashion. The court wants to do what is best for the child, not most convenient for the parents.