When the court makes a custody decision, it always does so with the best interests of the child in mind. The court does not give a lot of weight to how either parent feels unless there is a specific legal reason to do so, such as if there is documented abuse in the situation. Its main concern is that the decision regarding parental responsibilities will be what is most beneficial to the children.
Today’s Parent explains that research shows the best arrangement for parenting time is when parents share equal time with the children. This split of parenting time allows the children to have the ability to develop a meaningful relationship with each parent. However, there are pros and cons of this option.
The issue for young children
It may be difficult for young children to spend half of their time away from the parent who was primarily their caregiver before the divorce. In addition, some people believe that it will have a negative effect on younger children because they need stability and routine, which is difficult to have when they have to move between two homes constantly.
Those who support shared parenting arrangements say that young children actually adjust quickly. They will be able to quickly become accustomed to the switching of homes, and since they will do so often, it is better for them and easier for them than the traditional arrangement where they would see one parent only occasionally.
The main requirement
For shared parenting to work, though, the adults in the situation must be willing to work together. Co-parenting is difficult when the parents do not get along and cannot stand to speak with each other. Sharing parenting responsibilities requires open communication and that parents coordinate their schedules. It takes teamwork just as it did during the marriage. Some parents may be unable to adjust to this type of situation.