One of the more complicated aspects of divorce issues to think through is the concept of what is called ‘Joint Physical Custody.’ In it’s most basic sense, with joint physical custody both parents are considered custodial parents, and have virtually equal rights over the child/children.
This can also be a very tricky thing to work out, as in essence, the child is being shared between the parents. This can create great strain on the child, and should be handled with great care. It is easy for children in these situations to truly feel torn between two worlds. It’s a child’s natural instinct to want to please both parents, but this can be mentally exhausting.
After Divorce – Limit the amount of stress on the child
It is good for parents to work hard to eliminate any mental and emotional stress for the child regarding this. Don’t allow the child to take sides, or to pit the child against the other parent. This will only create more unneeded strain and keep the child from being able to grow to a more functional part of society.
Legally, joint physical custody involves a few complicated issues. The parents are given, in most cases, a court ordered custody schedule. This being given by the court aids in elimination of further fights and arguments. Sometimes these are referred to as parenting schedules or plans.
After Divorce -Joint Physical Custody Means Equal Rights For the Parents
You won’t hear the term ‘visitation’ in the case of joint physical custody, as both parents have basically equal rights. Both parents are allowed, and often required by the court to be involved in, and have access to information about the child’s needs and goings on. Education records and choices, health issues, and all other major impacting decisions will be handled by both parents for the child’s well being.
Keep a cool head when discussing these things. Parents, remember that these decisions are now about the child and the child alone. It could be easy to fall back into some of the same old fights and arguments when discussing joint issues. If you can maintain a cool head after the divorce and and have the help of some loving friends, this can all be worked out for the child’s good.