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Is joint or sole custody of your child better?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | Child-Related Matters

As a divorcing parent, one of your major concerns is child custody. You do not want to lose your child through a divorce. You want to be there to raise your child. However, your child’s other parent may also have the same feelings. 

During a divorce, you may be given joint or sole custody. These can determine who is responsible for raising your child. Here’s what you should know about each:

What are the pros and cons of joint custody?

Joint custody allows you and your ex-spouse to raise your child together but in different homes. You and your ex may share physical custody, which is where your child lives and which parent is responsible for providing your child with their basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. Parents who share custody create custody schedules to determine which parent has physical custody each day. 

You may also share legal custody of your child when you have joint custody. Legal custody allows you to decide what is best for your child’s upbringing. When parents share legal custody, they may need to negotiate important matters, such as your child’s health, education and religious beliefs. 

Joint custody allows parents to remain in their child’s life and is generally preferred. However, that also means parents may need to keep constant communication and solve major issues.

What are the pros and cons of sole custody? 

Alternatively, you could have sole custody, which can give you all legal and physical custody rights. This could give your child a safer and more stable environment if their other parent is unfit to raise them. 

However, sole custody means a parent is entirely responsible for raising their child without any help from the other parent. This can be difficult for parents to juggle raising their child, working and other activities. Sole custody is generally only granted to one parent when the other has significant issues that affect their ability to parent safely or well.

Knowing whether joint or sole custody is right for you and your child is not easy. You may need to learn more about your child custody options as you go through the divorce process.