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Child CustodyFive Situations When Joint Physical Custody Should Not Be Considered

September 21, 2012

A joint physical custody arrangement enables the children to spend time with both parents. This type of arrangement is generally in the best interests of the children, particularly when the parents are cooperative and willing to co-parent their children. Though a custodial time share may be a desired arrangement, it is not a solution that lends itself to every case. In some in some cases this joint physical custody should never be considered

Here are five situations when an equal time sharing should never be considered.

1. The parties are not close to each other geographically.

 When the parties do not live within close geographic proximity to each other, joint physical custody may not be feasible. For example, though sections of New York City and New Jersey are only miles apart, it would not be desirable to force children to commute during rush hour to school. The problem is exacerbated when the parents live even greater distances from each other.

 In these situations, joint physical custody would not be feasible, particularly during the school year. One solution is to have the children reside with one parent when school is in session, and use the summer break and other extended vacation periods to equalize the other parent’s time with the children.

 2. Where one parent is overly controlling.

When one parent does not play well in the sand-box, the flexibility required to enjoy shared physical custody is lacking. Consequently, a more traditional parenting or visitation arrangement may be in order.

 3. In cases where there is a history of drug or alcohol abuse or activity not suitable for children


4. In cases of domestic violence.

 For patently obvious reasons, it would be patently improper to place children in an environment where there has been a history of drug, substance, spousal or child abuse. If an addicted or abusive parent’s is granted access to children, access should be extremely limited and only in a supervised setting.

 5. In cases where the parents cannot communicate.

Co-parenting requires the both parents to communicate. With children’s schedules constantly changing, the access schedules as well as the pick-ups and drop offs cannot be written in stone. If the parents cannot work together, a joint custody arrangement would likely fail.



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