Joint physical custody may seem like a reasonable option for divorcing parents. When a California judge is making the decision, the divorced parents might share physical custody of their children on a 50/50 basis. In many situations, this is an ideal setup that works fine. However, there are instances when joint physical custody is not a good idea and undermines the child’s best interests.
Issues with joint physical custody
Theoretically, it would seem fine for both parents to spend the same amount of time with their children via a custody arrangement. When looking at particular cases of specific parents, tradition could mean little. One parent might have weak parenting skills and does not put the child’s needs first. The parent could be abusive and neglectful, or the parent’s environment may be dangerous.
Parents with substance abuse or gambling addiction issues might not prioritize their children’s needs. That could have a serious, long-term psychological effect on the child. Neglect may result in immediate dangers to the young one.
Other parenting matters of concern
Even when both parents can care for the child, there are other issues to consider with child custody. For example, if the child is in school, it could be difficult when the parents live far apart. Daily commutes to school should be manageable for the child.
One parent might think the child’s extracurricular pursuits or developing peer relationships are unimportant. Sometimes, the child may have skills, such as athletic or musical talents, that require cultivation. A parent who doesn’t support such pursuits might not be the right person for the child to live with.
If a joint physical custody arrangement is not working out, it may be necessary to return to court and revisit it. Ultimately, the court will consider the child’s best interests.