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When should parents avoid joint physical custody arrangements?

There's a lot of talk these days about the numerous advantages of joint physical custody arrangements for both parents and their children. These arrangements involve the children living half the time with one parent and half the time with the other. Although it might seem like it's difficult for a child to have two homes, in fact, child and family psychologists agree that the benefits outweigh the difficulties as the children will get to spend as much time as they can with both sides of their family.

There are some circumstances, however, when joint physical custody might not be an excellent idea:

Too much fighting

When the parents fight constantly and cannot agree on anything, joint physical custody can present serious difficulties for the children because they'll constantly be exposed to fighting. Also, the parents could end up in court if they can't agree on simple matters that pertain to their child.

Living far away from each other

Since joint physical custody may require frequent child exchanges, if the parents live far away, the constant driving and exchanges could be difficult for the parents to endure.

Children who need more stability

Some children require more stability, and they have a difficult time adjusting to living in two homes. In these cases, it's better for the child to simply live in one residence.

If you're thinking about joint physical custody arrangements, make sure you discuss the idea with your family law attorney before determining it's the best option for you and your family.

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