The Benefits of Joint Custody
In a previous post, we discussed joint custody by defining it, and explaining situations where it is not recommended because some parents have situations that make joint custody a difficult experience- such as when the parents live very far from one another, or when a parent may have a legal history with violent crimes, or child neglect cases. While we had previously mentioned that joint custody is generally best, we also wanted to further expand upon how joint custody can be a great experience for you and your family. After all, many parents choose to divorce to preserve the well being of their family, and maintain peace in their homes.
1. It Positively impacts Your Child/Children
Joint Custody can be a great way to reduce the stress children often experience when their parents separate. Because custody is evenly split between both parents, it means that the children don’t have to spend as much time missing the other parent, or worrying if/when they will see their other parent again. In cases where one parent moves out, children often experience a sense of guilt or rejection from the missing parent, which is best avoided. Joint custody often helps keep children in a standardized weekly routine, which can help them feel stable and maintain a sense of what is normal.
Both you, and your ex will be able to have an equal influence on your child’s life which is really important while instilling your own values, life experiences, and personal beliefs. This provides you a fair opportunity to show your children what matters to you, and your household. Joint custody also provides the opportunity for you children to experience values that you might not share with your ex, and help them understand individual differences early on in life.
3. Sharing Responsibilities
Because children split equal time between both parents, both parents take turns managing the responsibilities of their children. This includes financial responsibilities, such as money spent on the wants and needs of the children, and unexpected expenses related to the children. Which begins to bring us to our next point- when it is NOT your turn to manage the responsibilities.
4. Pre-Scheduled Free time
The first time your kids go to spend a few days at your ex’s is likely going to be nerve-wracking, but many parents grow to enjoy it because it is a predetermined time that you can use for things other than parenting. There are many rewarding ways to use this free time!
Depending on your career, you might be able to plan most of your work schedule for times that you don’t have your children. By doing this, you can minimize the cost of childcare while maximizing the time that you get to spend with your kids while they’re in your custody. Of course, this doesn’t work for everyone’s career, but there are still plenty other great options, such as using your free time for advancing their career, for self-care, or to explore dating again.
At first, some parents feel guilty about having free time, and developing a life outside of parenthood, but that isn’t a very productive way of thinking. Parenting is rewarding, but it can be tiring, and having this free time allows you time to rest uninterrupted or explore new possibilities that excite, inspire, and motivate you.
At Alexander & Ewert LLC, Attorneys at Law, we know sharing custody is a huge change for many parents, but we hope to help make it a good change. If you have any questions, or want to start discussing custody, give us a call at 970-725-6626.