A divorce will impact your family in different ways, and as a parent, you will want to do everything you can to shield your children from as many negative effects as reasonably possible. One way that you may do this is by creating a custody and visitation plan that will provide your children with stability and security. For many South Dakota families, this means opting for a joint custody arrangement.
Joint custody allows you to provide your children with the opportunity to have regular and equitable access to both parents. There is significant evidence that children will benefit when allowed to continue their familial relationships as much as possible after a divorce, and this specific type of custody arrangement makes it easier to accomplish this goal. Before you agree to terms, you may benefit from considering how your custody and visitation decisions could affect your children long-term.
How does joint custody work?
In a true joint custody arrangement, parents share physical and legal custody relatively equally. Physical custody refers the amount of time a parent will have with his or her children. Legal custody refers to the right that a parent has to make important decisions for his or her child, including choices pertaining to medical care, education and religious upbringing. When parents share these two types of custody, they will split time with the kids, and they will work together when making important decisions.
There are situations in which parents may share physical custody while one parent still retains legal custody or vice versa. There is no cookie-cutter solution to child custody arrangements, and it will be critical to consider your child’s individual needs and your specific circumstances when making custody choices. The goal of your final custody and visitation order should be to provide your children with as much stability and security as possible long-term.
Consider the future
Custody arrangements will impact every member of your family for years to come. Joint custody may not always be easy for two divorced parents, but it could be the most appropriate way to provide your children with the ability to have strong relationships with each parent. In order to make a joint custody arrangement work, the two parents must prioritize the best interests of their kids over their own temporary feelings and emotions related to their divorce.