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Sole-custody vs. joint-custody: Factors to consider

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2019 | Family Law

When parents file for divorce in Virginia, there are many topics to negotiate, including property division. Child custody is one of the most overwhelming issues to settle in the final divorce settlement. It can be complicated to discuss matters involving the children, especially when it comes to what types of living arrangements will be best for the children once the marriage is terminated.

During the divorce, children may have to adjust to living in a single-parent household rather than the traditional family that they were used to. Going through such a change can cause children to exhibit behavioral and emotional problems. It is up to parents to consider both sole-custody and joint-custody living arrangements and determine which is best for the children and their wellbeing.

In a sole-custody arrangement, kids live primarily with one custodial parent and the non-custodial parent is put on a visitation schedule. Joint-custody arrangements, on the other hand, involve the child spending a significant amount of time with both parents by living part of the time with one parent and part of the time with the other parent.

Studies show that children who grow up in joint-custody situations achieve the following:

  • Better grades in school
  • Fewer emotional issues
  • Less behavioral problems
  • Stronger family bonds

This is compared to kids who are raised in sole-custody situations.

Whether a child is put in joint-custody or sole-custody arrangements, studies show the important factor is that they spend a significant amount of time with both parents.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.