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Explanation of Joint Physical Custody


Mother and father helping daughters with homework
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Explanation of Joint Physical Custody:

This form of child custody is also called "Shared Custody," "Shared Parenting," or "Dual Residence." In this situation, the child/ren live with one parent for part of the week (or part of the year), and live with the other parent during the remaining time. The division of time spent at each location is approximately equal.

Pros of Joint Physical Custody:

  • The children have the experience of living with both parents on a regular basis.

  • Both parents are established as equals and enjoy approximately the same amount of parenting time with the children.

  • The children may also have the opportunity to make new friends during the time spent with the parent who moves to a new location.

  • Neither parent is deemed a "visitor" in the children's lives.

  • The children learn to be responsible for their belongings.

Cons of Joint Physical Custody:

  • The children have to adjust to living in at least one new location.

  • Packing up and switching homes every other week, or mid-week, can be extremely stressful for a child.

  • This type of child custody is not ideal for every family.

  • Especially early on, there can be a lot of running back to the other house to pick up forgotten items.

  • At times, the responsibility that is placed on the children to maintain their own belongings can become excessive.

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