Many Pennsylvania parents going through divorce are looking for new and innovative solutions for child custody. In many cases, arrangements in which both parents share relatively equal time with their children are preferred by judges as well as child development experts.
At the same time that fully shared custody promotes the continued involvement of both parents in the lives of their children and protects parental relationships, it also poses its own unique challenges for children. Often, children must travel between homes on a regular basis, for one week or two weeks at a time. They maintain two bedrooms and can feel like they are maintaining two lives. However, as long as children have access to the same school district, shared custody is a generally successful experience for all involved.
Another arrangement that some divorcing parents are choosing, especially as a transitional option, is called “nesting”. This type of parenting plan is one in which the children stay in the home and the two parents move in and out in accordance with a schedule. This model attempts to minimize the disruption to children’s lives by instead having parents bear the burden of moving. It typically works for a period of time and allows children to become adjusted to the changes caused by divorce before a move to traditional shared custody.
Parents who are considering physical custody options may want to meet with their respective family law attorneys to learn about their options. They might want to negotiate an agreement rather than having a judge make a decision. If they are unable to reach an accord, mediation might be an advisable option.