You have probably heard people say that joint physical custody is best for the kids. They still get to see both parents. The parents share the responsibilities and also get time off. For the kids, it's the closest thing to still living in a home with two married parents.
These things are all true. However, some parents make joint physical custody into the absolute worst option for their kids.
They do it by fighting constantly and arguing in front of the kids. One benefit of the divorce, for the kids, was getting out of that toxic environment. The parents make sure they are not actually able to escape it.
They do it by taking on custody for the wrong reasons. For instance, some parents fight for joint custody because they want to pay less in child support. They do not actually want to be with the kids. This means that the kids are just an obligation to them and a way to keep more of their own money. Those parents often don't actually want to be involved with their kids.
They do it by putting the kids through a logistical nightmare. Moving back and forth between houses means more time in the car. It means things -- toys, pajamas, books -- are forgotten. The kids may not feel like they really get to settle in and live anywhere.
It is important to keep these things in mind when creating your own parenting plan and custody schedule. You do not want to make it the worst option for your kids. You want to make it the best. Try to avoid these common mistakes, and focus on putting the kids first.
Source: Psychology Today, "Joint physical custody," Robert E. Emery, accessed May 21, 2018