Brooklyn Joint Custody Lawyers

When you got married, you undoubtedly expected your marriage to a last a lifetime. As years passed and your family grew, you may have encountered problems in your relationship, which is not uncommon for most married couples. If you’ve decided that divorce is the most viable option and that you and your spouse should part ways, you have probably begun thinking about child custody proceedings. Filing for divorce means that you and your spouse must resolve numerous important issues regarding your children’s lives as they move forward and adapt to changes in their daily routine.

Joint custody has many benefits

As parents, you and your ex will always have a need to interact. When, where and how you do that depends on the specific details of your circumstances and what the terms of your final court order happen to be. Most family court judges agree that children fare better in divorce when given ample opportunity to maintain a close bond and active relationship with both parents. A joint custody arrangement enables them to do so. The following list shows several reasons why you may want to consider splitting custody 50/50 in your divorce:
Share parental obligations
Help maintain a scheduled routine
Easier to schedule personal time
Helps lower expenses

Such benefits can make coping with divorce less stressful for you and your children. It is especially helpful for kids to witness their parents working as a team to cooperate, look for common ground when there’s a disagreement and compromise as needed for their sake. On the contrary, if kids are constantly exposed to parental conflict, they may experienced increased levels of stress or feel confused about showing loyalty to one parent or the other after a divorce.

You don’t always have to resolve problems alone

If you are the primary custodian, most of the parental responsibility lies on your shoulders. When you and your ex share physical and legal custody, you also share the responsibility and obligations that are a natural part of parenting. When you encounter a challenging issue, you need not feel like you have to try to resolve it alone.

Children tend to do better when there’s normalcy and routine

While divorce disrupts the lives of children, studies show that when parents help kids maintain a sense of normalcy and routine after divorce, they are better able to cope with the changes in their lives. Joint custody enables you to schedule everything, including when your kids will stay in each household, who will spend holidays with them, who will drive them to school, sports practice or wherever they need to go, etc.

Scheduling time to yourself is easier

Perhaps you plan on taking college classes or pursuing a promotion at work. You might even decide that you’d like to start dating again. With a joint custody arrangement, you know exactly when your children will be staying with you, which makes scheduling time to yourself a lot less stressful.

Joint custody makes it easy to share expenses

When your are sharing custody of your children, you and your co-parent can also share expenses. You’re free to customize your post-divorce financial plan. You might decide that when the kids stay with a particular parent, that parent pays all expenses that arise during that time. You can also write out terms of agreement regarding medical expenses, extra-curricular activities and other issues. Once the court approves your plan and issues a court order, you are both obligated to adhere to its terms.

Are there reasons not to agree to joint custody?

Joint custody doesn’t work for everyone. To be successful, you and your ex must be able to work together as a team in an amicable fashion and must be willing to peacefully discuss any problems that arise to try to resolve the issue together. If you’re in a situation where you believe that your ex places your children at risk, then joint custody isn’t likely to be a course of action you’d want to pursue.

For instance, if your ex has a substance abuse problem or has been physically or emotionally abusive in the past, you may want to consider filing a petition for sole physical and legal custody of your children instead of agreeing to share custody. The court always keeps children’s interests in mind when making custody decisions in a divorce. Child safety is always a top priority.

It’s helpful to speak with trusted friends or family members who have signed joint custody agreements in a divorce. While every family’s journey is unique, you can listen to what others have to say as to what has worked or not worked in their particular case. Building a strong support network from the start is the key to helping your children cope with divorce and adapt to a new lifestyle.