If a parent in Pennsylvania seeks sole physical custody during a divorce but a judge decides to grant joint custody, the parent may struggle with that decision. However, there are some advantages to sharing custody. Parents may remind themselves of these advantages, and in some cases, they might even consider sharing custody as a result.
Joint custody creates a predictable schedule for parents. This is not a reason to seek custody, but it can be helpful for parents who want to take time to have coffee with a friend or work on other projects. It can be difficult for parents to adjust to not having children in the home all the time, but when children are with the other parent, there may be opportunities to pursue an exercise program or other activities. Joint custody may even make it easier to date. With joint custody, a parent may also have more opportunity to pursue education or build a career.
The ability to share in enforcing discipline can be a helpful aspect of joint custody. Parents may be able to support one another and keep consistent rules, particularly when older children test boundaries. Shared custody may also mean that smaller expenses that arise regularly but are outside the parameters of the child support agreement are more evenly distributed.
Before going into child custody proceedings, parents may want to weigh what arrangement would be in the best interests of the child. This can be difficult since there may be disagreements about parenting philosophies, and parents may struggle with having less time with their children after divorce. However, studies show that it benefits children to spend time with both parents, and in some cases, joint custody may be the best solution. A joint custody agreement may also mean that parents are able to avoid a costly and stressful child custody battle and set a good foundation for coparenting.