During a divorce, couples are more likely to fight over custody and money-related issues than any other issue. What will happen to your kids is one of your main concerns during the divorce process, and you will understandably seek an outcome that protects their best interests above all else.
The custody arrangement that is best for your Arizona family depends on the unique nature of your individual situation. There is no one-size fits all custody plan, but many families find that they are able to work well with a joint custody arrangement. Any decision made during a divorce will impact your family for years to come, and it is useful to fully understand your custody options before you make a final decision.
The benefits of joint custody
Joint custody is a rather common type of custody plan, and it works well for many families because it allows the children to have regular access to both parents. This is good for the emotional and mental well-being of your children, especially during a time of transition. Other benefits to a joint custody agreement include:
- It can provide the children with a continuity of lifestyle, which can be important during a difficult time.
- It is possible for two parents to custom-tailor the details of their joint custody plan, allowing for consideration of specific needs and concerns.
- It is possible to negotiate the terms of a joint custody order without stepping foot in a courtroom, allowing a parent to save time, money and the stress often associated with litigation.
Joint custody would not work in every situation, but it could be a way for your family to enjoy more peace and stronger relationships after a divorce.
Legal custody versus physical custody
In any joint custody agreement, parents must make decisions regarding physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody refers to decision-making authority, and physical custody refers to the time that a child will actually spend with his or her parent. In many cases, one parent retains legal custody while both share physical custody, but it is possible for parents to share legal custody as well.
Child custody is a difficult issue to address and navigate during a divorce, no matter how amicable two parents may be. Through discussions, negotiations and a willingness to place the well-being of your children above temporary emotions, it is possible to make joint custody work for your family long into the future.