If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, one important question you may need to decide on is what kind of custody arrangement you'll have for your kids. There are many factors that you need to consider to make this important decision, which is why it helps to have some advice about what to do.
Reasons For Joint Custody
One reason that couples decide on joint custody after getting a divorce is because they can be open and work well with each other to make a joint custody agreement work. Both parents have the mindset of wanting to do the best thing for their child, and they decide on joint custody so they can live with both parents. In addition to the living situation, it also requires that the parents can still come together to make joint decisions about important things in the child's life. Joint custody also means that you'll be willing to work with your former spouse about scheduling visitation to try to make the arrangement fair for everyone that's involved.
Reasons For Sole Custody
A common reason that some parents want to have sole custody is when they feel like their former spouse will threaten themselves or the child. This may be brought up if one of the reasons for the divorce is substance abuse, domestic violence, or some type of mental disorder that can affect their judgement. In this situation, it will be best to distance yourself and not share joint parenting decisions.
Some parents decide on using sole custody as a temporary measure, to give a parent time to get their life back on track and seek help. If they prove to be successful in becoming rehabilitated, it is possible to request joint custody down the road when you feel they will become a good parent.
Keep in mind that it will be difficult to completely cut one parent from a child's life. A court will not make such a harsh decision unless it is an extreme circumstance. The child's situation is always top of mind to determine what would be best for them.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on custody, you'll need professional help to assist you. Consider using the help of a divorce lawyer to guide you through the process of deciding on custody, and offer their advice on how to get the results you are looking for in divorce court.