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The Pros and Cons of Shared Child Custody: What You Need to Know Before Making a Decision

The Pros and Cons of Shared Child Custody: What You Need to Know Before Making a Decision

Parties are encouraged to negotiate a parenting plan that allows their children to spend as much time with each parent as possible. It is presumed that spending time with a parent is in a child’s best interest unless the parent is unfit. Therefore, New Jersey courts often prefer joint child custody arrangements whenever possible.

However, shared child custody has its challenges. Before you enter into a shared custody agreement, it helps to understand the pros and cons of shared child custody.

Pros of Shared Child Custody Agreements in New Jersey

The benefits of joint custody arrangements include, but are not limited to:

Encourages Cooperation and Co-Parenting

When parents share custody, they must work together to make decisions for their child. Therefore, shared custody can promote effective communication between the parents. It provides the opportunity for parents to work together to make joint decisions, thereby improving co-parenting skills.

Shared Financial Responsibility

Parents spend as close to equal time with their children as possible. Therefore, they share the financial responsibility for their children. It can ease the financial burden for both parents and help ensure the children’s needs are met.

Maintaining Close Relationships

Shared child custody allows children to maintain close relationships with each parent. The parent-child relationship promotes emotional well-being and stability.

Divides Parenting Responsibilities More Equally

Joint custody allows parents to share parenting duties more equally. Doing so helps prevent a parent from becoming burnt out trying to shoulder most or all parenting duties.

Cons of Shared Child Custody Agreements in New Jersey

Shared child custody has its benefits, but it can also have disadvantages that might make joint custody a less desirable option. Cons of shared custody include:

Challenges in Coordinating Schedules

When a child spends equal amounts of time with parents, it requires parents to coordinate their schedules. The added travel between homes could cause logistical challenges. If parents aren’t prepared for these challenges, joint custody could create problems that cause conflicts.

Increases Conflict Between Parents

Co-parenting can be difficult. Shared child custody could intensify the problems between the parents that led to the divorce. Without effective conflict resolution skills and open communication, shared custody could be worse for a child.

Lack of Stability and Continuity

Going back and forth between homes could disrupt a child’s sense of stability and continuity. Splitting time between two homes could make a child feel like they do not have a “real” home.

Is There a Better Option to Shared Child Custody in New Jersey?

Parents can share joint custody without attempting to split their time with their children on a 50/50 basis. Joint custody allows both parents to make important decisions for their child. Therefore, parents consult each other regarding religious upbringing, education, medical care, and extracurricular activities.

However, the parents can negotiate a time-sharing agreement that appoints one parent to have primary care of the child. That parent is referred to as the custodial parent. The child primarily lives with that parent.

However, the time-sharing agreement provides ample visitation for the non-custodial parent, including communicating with each other when they are not together. Therefore, both parents spend ample time with their children. They also remain active participants in their child’s life.

How Do I Know if Shared Child Custody Is Right for My Situation?

You must be able to communicate effectively and successfully with your ex-partner to co-parent under a shared custody arrangement. You must be flexible and willing to work with your ex to navigate the various situations and problems that may arise with shared child custody arrangements. Custody might not work for your situation if you cannot speak to your ex without arguing.

The primary goal is to develop a parenting plan that is in your child’s best interest. Your custody arrangement does not need to look like someone else’s arrangement. It should be tailored to your family’s needs.If you have questions about shared child custody or other custody arrangements in New Jersey, contact a Monmouth County child custody lawyer. Experienced attorneys can review all your options and discuss ways to tailor a custody plan to meet your and your child’s needs.

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm in Red Bank. NJ at (732) 747-1882 or contact us online today.
You can also visit our law firm at 157 Broad St #111, Red Bank, NJ 07701.

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