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What are the pros and cons of sole physical custody?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2021 | blog, Child Custody and Visitation

Divorced Virginia parents must create child custody plans. One option is sole physical custody, but it’s important to know the pros and cons that go with it.

What is sole physical custody?

This type of child custody arrangement involves the child living with one parent, the primary custodial parent, over half the time. The noncustodial parent has visitation rights.

What are the benefits of sole physical custody?

Sole physical custody gives the child the advantage of living in one home. This prevents him or her from having to go back and forth.

The child is usually able to continue living in the home he or she lived in before the divorce. This can help provide a better sense of stability to the child’s life. The child can also continue enjoying his or her normal routine and stay in the same school while maintaining his or her friends and extracurricular activities.

Although the child doesn’t live with the other parent, he or she gets to spend plenty of quality time with the noncustodial parent during visitation. This lets the child continue having a good relationship with both parents.

What are the drawbacks of sole physical custody?

One of the most obvious disadvantages of sole physical custody is that the child no longer lives with the noncustodial parent. As a result, the child and that parent may miss each other a lot when they’re apart.

The child may take some time to adjust to the new child custody situation. It can also seem to him or her that the parent who was granted sole physical custody was deemed to be the “better” or “good” parent.

It can feel as though the other parent is more absent from the child’s life due to the only contact being through visitation. That time they spend together can also feel more like “fun time” instead of serious child-parent quality time.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding that sole physical custody is the best option.


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