Is Joint Legal Custody Truly In The Best Interest Of The Child?

Studies show that fathers are denied joint legal custody in 22.4 percent of all cases. Women are usually awarded custody because, traditionally, men worked outside of the house and women cared for the kids in the home. Thus, the question arises: is joint legal custody truly in the best interest of the child? When deciding whether to pursue shared or sole legal custody, consultation with a Camp Hill father’s rights legal custody lawyer may provide invaluable advice.

Legal custody refers to the right to make very significant decisions on behalf of the child, such as those surrounding medical, religious and educational matters.

Factors to determine custody

The legal standard to decide custody is the best interest of the child (BIC). The following are some of the factors used to determine custody:

  • The child’s past and present relationship with each parent
  • The child-rearing skills possessed by each parent
  • Which parent is most suitable to be awarded custody
  • Whether one of the parents has a history of harming the child
  • The employment and financial positions of each parent
  • The emotional tie that the child possesses with each parent
  • The motives of each parent in seeking custody
  • Which parent will foster the relationship with the other parent and extended family

If joint legal custody is awarded after examining these factors, the parents must be able to cooperate.

Shared custody may harm the child

Any shared custody arrangement arranged through the parents’ negotiations or through a court order is based on the presumption that the parents will cooperate. Some argue that this presumption is a delusion, because parents will have to make many significant sacrifices, such as the following:

  • Talking on the phone regularly to discuss important issues
  • Submitting to the will of your ex-spouse to resolve disagreements
  • Placing your child’s interest over your own career or personal interests
  • Continuing a personal relationship with your ex-spouse that you were basically unable to do when married

Based on these details, designing a joint custody agreement with the assistance of a Camp Hill fathers’ rights legal custody attorney — whether legal or physical — is not a way to bring reconciliation to couples in the middle of battle. Other studies have shown that joint legal and physical custody are in the best interest of the child, because it brings both parents’ involvement in the child’s life.

If you are engaged in the divorce process or attempting to modify an existing custody order, you should consult experienced men’s attorney John F. King, Esq. Serving South Central Pennsylvania, The Guy’s Attorney is available to serve your legal needs. Call 717.412.0244.