A variety of reasons exists for why you may consider seeking sole physical custody of your children. If those reasons involve the safety and well-being of your children, then you may not have much to consider. After all, your first instinct and duty is to protect your children.
However, if it is a choice borne out of something else, then you may want to carefully consider your decision. In addition to the fact that most courts prefer a joint custody arrangement these days, when one parent seeks sole custody, the matter usually ends up in a North Carolina courtroom. Looking at the pros and cons of sole custody could help you make your choice.
Looking at the downside
It may help to look at the pitfalls of sole physical custody first. The most common shortcomings of this arrangement include those below:
- Regardless of how you feel about the other parent, your children may miss him or her a great deal.
- Your children cease living with the other parent. As hard as the other parent may try, he or she and the children only have visits with one another.
- Because the children tend to only visit the other parent, they never truly get the chance to experience everyday life with him or her. That time becomes more of a vacation from real life, which can cause issues once they are back home with you where there are rules, chores and discipline.
- Receiving sole custody may give the other parent the impression that he or she does not meet with the court’s approval as a parent. This can cause even more contention between you and the other parent.
Moreover, adjusting to this new way of life will undoubtedly have its ups and downs. It could take some time for your children to get used to the new living arrangements, which could also cause them more stress than necessary.
Now, the upside
With the potential struggles out of the way, you could experience the following benefits of sole physical custody:
- Your children won’t have to transfer their things back and forth between homes.
- Liberal visitation allows your children to continue a loving relationship with the other parent.
- If your children don’t have to move because of the divorce, they can keep their friends, remain in the same schools and remain in the community in which they have lived thus far.
- There will be fewer disruptions to their routines, which could help them adjust to the divorce.
The more you can encourage a healthy, loving and supportive relationship between the children and the other parent, the easier this transition may be on everyone involved.
In the end, there are advantages and disadvantages to every custody arrangement. The point is to make sure it is the one that best serves the needs of your children.