Is sole or joint custody better to the child if the reason for divorce is irreconcilable difference?
Most couples who end up separating cite irreconcilable differences as the main reason for divorce. If the parents have this as a problem is it good for the child, or is it better if one is the main custodial parent?
The answer probably depends on the parents, where they live (same school district?), work schedules, etc. In the end, the most important thing parents can do for their child is to give a stable, predictable, healthy home. This is much more difficult to achieve if the child essentially lives in two different homes with two different sets of expectations and two different ways of life. Even if both parents have the very best of intentions, are amazing people, and have perfectly wonderful ways of running a house hold, the most important thing for a child is the CONSISTENCY of the upbringing.
This isn't to mean that the child can't go visit the other parent, even for extended period of time, but the court should not mandate joint custody in a way that leaves a child split between two homes.
Kids have the right to access both their parents as much as they need. Unless the other parent is unsafe, it's best to work out an arrangement where the child has plenty of time with both parents.
Sole and joint custody mean different things. You can have sole physical custody (the child spends all his time with you) and joint custody when it comes to making decisions for the child. Or, you can have joint physical custody and sole decision-making custody. I suppose the laws depend on where you live, though.
:"irreconcilable differences" is a term that came about to make divore more civil. There was a time when couples felt compelled to either dig up some dirt on their spouse or out right lie in order to justify filing for divorce. Just because a couple no longer agree on what their marriage should be like, or fallen out of love with one another, or one person commited a "deal breaker"....etc None of this is a reason why the child should be denied spending time with both parents unless one of them is likely to harm or endanger the child.
I suspect the majority of custody battles are not an effort to determine what is "best for the child" but rather to "hurt" the ex. Sometimes people don't want to have to deal with their exes or see them with a new lover/spouse. Having a child in common makes it difficult to cut off all ties. No matter how much one hates their ex it is important to remember that without them they would not have the child or children they love so much. Having joint custody is a small price to pay.
There is no reason to get a divorce before the child is grown up. If you are being abused, that is one thing, and obviously there should be sole custody in that case. But in any case where joint custody is granted, I think there really is no business for the parents to split households. You can be divorced and live in the same home, but it really is draining on the children to be ripped back and forth between two homes, especially if they are far apart (I know this, I was one of these kids). You made a marriage commitment, and you made an even greater commitment to the child when you had the child. Stick to your decisions and live with them until the child is no longer a child, and no longer needs a stable home to live in.
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