At the start of a divorce, many parents assume they need to fight for sole custody of their children. They abhor the very idea of shared custody.
Maybe you cannot bear the thought of being separated from your children. Perhaps you feel it shows how much you love them. Or that other people would think badly of you if you fail to fight. However, doing so may not be what is best for you or your child.
There are many advantages to sharing physical custody of the kids
Each parent’s different life experiences, skills, interests and parenting styles can contribute something unique to their child’s development. Here are some other advantages to sharing parenting:
- Children enjoy spending time with their parents: When a child has grown up with two parents, cutting them off from one is not beneficial.
- It splits expenses: Raising a child is not cheap. When a child spends time living with both parents, it enables you to share the costs more equally.
- It reduces ill-feeling: If your partner pays child support and only gets visitation rights in return, they might feel aggrieved. While a court may still award child support when you share physical custody, it is likely to be much less.
- It gives you a break: Parenting can be physically and mentally challenging. While it may be hard to wave your child off at first, you will come to appreciate these rest periods. It can also help you and your child value your time together rather than taking it for granted.
- It allows you to be more than just a parent: If you take sole physical custody, you are severely limiting your social and work life. By letting the other parent share time, you can pursue a life as an individual, not just someone’s mom or dad.
Rather than fighting over child custody, you may want to create a parenting plan with your spouse. It allows you to concentrate on building a positive future for you and your child based on cooperation, not conflict.