Californian parents have big questions to ask about future child-rearing plans through the divorce process. How will they handle parenting moving forward? Will one parent have primary custody while the other sticks to a visitation schedule? More and more often, parents are instead choosing joint custody, especially due to its benefits.
FindLaw takes a look at joint custody, also known as shared parenting, and lays out the differences between it and sole custody. With shared parenting, both parents share equal responsibility for the child. This means they can both make decisions for medical choices, schools, which religion the child will be raised with, and so on. Studies have shown recently that children generally experience fewer adjustment problems and emotional damage in a joint custody situation rather than a sole custody one. This is one of the reasons for the rise in joint custody.
Very Well Family also finds many benefits to be had in joint custody. For example, the workload of raising a child is divided more evenly and both parents are carrying more of the weight. It can save money as well. Unfortunately, child support payments usually don't take everyday expenses into consideration, like toothpaste or toilet paper. If a person has joint custody, then they're able to split these everyday costs more evenly.
Joint custody is not a situation that works for everyone. However, for those it does work for, it can create a better environment for the child. Parents should carefully examine their situation and decide whether they would be able to make joint custody work, and if that is what they want to do.