When it comes to divorce cases, emotions can run high. Not only can there be existing tension between a couple before filing for a divorce, but the process of figuring out how to rearrange their lives could further exacerbate those feelings. If the couple has a child, there is perhaps no step in the divorce process more contentious than the matter of child custody. Unfortunately, courts do not typically default to 50/50 custody, despite how many individuals wish they would. The primary concern for any court when determining child custody will always be whatever is in the best interests of the child. While some exceptions can be agreed upon depending on the situation, more often than not, most courts will rule against 50/50 custody for the sake of the child. If you and your spouse are considering getting a divorce, please reach out to a Sussex County, Sparta divorce and separation attorney at Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC for more information.
Why do courts rule against 50/50 custody in divorce?
Child custody can fall under multiple categories including physical custody, legal custody, joint custody, and sole custody. Physical custody determines which parent the child lives with; the parent that gets either sole or primary physical custody is typically referred to as the custodial parent. Both the relationship and individual circumstances of both parents factor in heavily when determining physical custody. Because it is usually in the best interest of the child to maintain a relationship with both parents, most courts will grant visitation rights tofor the non-custodial parent. If both parents are amicable and can demonstrate to the court that they are capable of maintaining a healthy form of cooperation, 50/50 custody can be allowed.
However, this is not usually the case due to the nature of joint physical custody and how it affects the child. One of the most essential factors when it comes to the well-being of the child is a sense of stability. 50/50 custody could create an environment where the child does not feel as though they have a true permanent home which can be very distressing for them. The logistics of joint physical custody can also be problematic, especially if the parents are not on good terms with one another. Because it requires both parents to maintain a strong line of communication to make sure there are no conflicts with scheduling equal time with the child, some parents simply cannot do so without issues arising. Even if both parents can prove that they are capable of working together, a court can still rule against 50/50 custody if one of the parents is incapable of providing a safe environment for the child.