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In some families, shared child custody may not be the best choice

Over the past several years, more and more states and family court judges have come to the understanding that children benefit most when both parents are involved. To that end, judges often start from the position that shared child custody is the ideal. South Carolina favors joint custody in both legal and physical custody orders.

While many parents are able to co-parent peaceably, this is not always the case. In these situations, the animosity between the parents may place children in an uncomfortable position of having to choose sides. If the parents live some distance apart, exchanging custody may involve travel time that infringes on the child's enjoyment of spending time with each parent. In addition, though children are seen as being able to adapt to their situations, having two very different schedules and routines may take a toll over time.

Young children often fare better when they have a sense of consistency and established routines. When they are shifted between caregivers, they may have a harder time developing feelings of stability and security. As children age, they may adjust better to two different households, but it may be beneficial to all parties involved to evaluate which living arrangements best meet a child's particular needs.

Parents who are able to objectively view child custody from their child's perspective may be in the best position to select the parenting plans that will work to their child's advantage. In many cases, shared custody plans may consist of the child maintaining one primary residence with one parent. Though the issue of custody is filled with emotion, being able to develop a plan that will truly be in a child's best interest will result in a well-adjusted child who can thrive. South Carolina residents may choose to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help find the best solutions for their family.

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