The Challenges of Joint Physical Custody

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 by Hofheimer Family Law

As the Virginia Legislative Code defines it, joint physical custody allows parents to share physical custody of their child. In this scenario, the child can live with both parents on a routine, agreed-upon schedule. While shared physical custody can be beneficial because it allows the child to spend substantial time with each parent, this custody arrangement also has its downsides, including:

  • Your child’s routine is disrupted. After going through a traumatizing divorce, it can be an additional stress on your child to have to change his or her routine on a daily or weekly basis. Even though parents may try to keep activities consistent, it can be hard for a child to move from house to house regularly.
  • Parents that live far apart have additional challenges. It can be even harder on a child if the parents live far apart or in separate states, which means that the child must change schools and leave his or her friends behind when going to live with the other parent. If at all possible, it is easiest on the child if they can attend the same school and maintain the activities they engaged in before the divorce.
  • Children may be caught in the middle of feuding parents. In some cases where marriages ended on less than amicable terms, children involved in shared physical custody arrangements may feel that they need to “spy” on one parent or give information to the other parent. They may also feel as if they have to choose between one of their parents or express that they like living with one parent more than the other.

Before entering into any child custody agreement, it’s important to think about the best interests of your child and work with your spouse to try and come to the best possible parenting arrangement.

Browse our library to learn more about the Pros and Cons of Joint Physical Custody in Virginia.

The Virginia divorce attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm exclusively represent Virginia women who wish to file for divorce. We are committed to fighting for your rights, assisting in child custody disputes, and ensuring that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life. Contact us to set up a legal consultation of your case – (757) 425-5200.