Q: My wife and I will soon be divorced, and we both want to spend a lot of time with our children. We’re trying to work out a custody agreement that both of us think is fair. A couple we know that got divorced are co-parenting their children. But other people have told us that sharing custody causes problems for everyone. Who’s right?
A: The best way to maintain a strong relationship with your children is to spend as much time with them as you possibly can. Joint physical custody provides the best guarantee of regular contact with your kids. In most states, joint physical custody is defined simply as “frequent and continuing contact,” which covers everything from equally splitting expenses, decision-making, and time with the kids to arrangements that are basically indistinguishable from sole mother custody with occasional visitation by the father.
So pursue as much physical custody as you can reasonably manage. This is probably going to be somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, don’t shoot for more than 50 percent: your children need their mother just as much as they need you and your ex needs them just as much as you do. Why go for co-parenting? Simply put, because it’s the best thing for everyone.
WHEN IT WORKS AND WHEN IT DOESN’T
Most experts now agree that co-parenting is the best option. But they also agree that there are times when it just won’t work and shouldn’t be implemented.
Co-parenting works best if you and your ex….
Co-parenting won’t work if you and your ex …