Parenting after a divorce involves both legal and physical custody. Some Missouri parentis might want to share custody, but that might not always be possible depending on a variety of circumstances. While they might continue sharing legal custody, they might need to adopt a different physical custody arrangement from the 50-50 parenting time split.
Why parents choose joint physical custody
In many cases, joint physical custody makes sense for people who want to continue co-parenting their children after they are no longer together. They both want to stay involved in their children’s lives and believe that having the children divide their time equally between the two parents’ homes might best serve the best interests of the children, by providing them stability and support from both parents. However, there are circumstances that might prevent this family law arrangement from working.
Why joint physical custody might not work
There are a variety of factors that might prevent joint physical custody from being the ideal arrangement for the family. For example, the child’s age might prove a challenge for joint physical custody, particularly when the child is very young and still dependent on one primary caretaker. Some of the other factors that might also prevent joint custody from working include:
- A history of child neglect or domestic abuse by one parent
- Issues of alcohol or drug abuse by a parent
- Distance between the parents’ home
- A child’s preference about where they want to live
A parent can remain involved in their child’s life even if they settle for a different arrangement. In cases where the parent might be considered unsuitable to take care of the children, they might still have access to their children through visitation, even if that visitation is supervised, while they work towards resolving the issues that have prevented joint custody.