Joint Physical Custody: Are There Pros and Cons?

Before we look at the pros and cons of joint physical custody, you first need to understand what it is. Joint custody is the way that two parents share even custody amongst their child. In this physical custody arrangement, children live with their parent one part of the week and with the other parent for the rest of the week. It is known as equal parenting, or 50/50 time.

When you think of splitting time evenly with the other parent in your custodial relationship, you may wonder, “How are there any cons to this?” However, there may be aspects that you are not comfortable with and we will discuss those today. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of joint physical custody:


Contact With Both Parents: In these situations of custody, children will retain constant contact with both of their parents and gain a clear message that both parents care for them. This allows for “psychological parenting” on both ends. You find higher rates of success from situations where both parents see their children equally. 

Reduced Conflict: Studies have shown that your chance of heading back to court is cut in half when you work together and share your child jointly. In many cases, this is due to the fact that joint custody agreements have great parenting plans in place. 

Responsibility: A child learns about how to be responsible for their belongings since they are traveling back and forth between two parent’s households. 

New Locations: A child will have the opportunity to experience a new location depending on how far the parents live from one another. This means seeing new sights and even forming new relationships with friends.


Switching Homes: It could make a child anxious to have to go back and forth between two homes all the time. This can also become a problem if one parent has little experience parenting or does not have good parenting skills.

Lack of Cooperation: If two parents are not able to cooperate well, they may put the child in the middle of this strained relationship, like a child who carries messages from one parent to the next constantly. This can be detrimental to them.

Do you believe that joint physical custody may be best for you because you believe in even parenting time? Perhaps you see pros and cons to these matters and need our help. We are here for you to help you decide which parenting plan works for both of you. Call us today.