What custody arrangement is best for a child?
A standard custody arrangement does not exist because every family, child, and circumstance is unique. However, the best custody arrangement is one that is in the best interests of the child. That is to say that such custody arrangements must meet the child's emotional, physical, educational, and health needs and be compatible with the child's way of life.
Each family is different, just as each child is unique. A child arrangement that may be ideal for one child may not be in the best interests of another. So, the arrangement that suits your child’s situation best would depend on many factors such as:
- Each parent's financial and employment situation
- The home environment of each parent
- The personalities and temperaments of both parents
- The emotional, physical, and mental needs of the child
- The competence of each parent to care for the child
- The child's relationship with each parent
- The child's views and preferences if the child is of age and understands the situation
What are the most common child custody arrangements in the UK?
The most common child custody arrangements in the UK include the following:
Sole custody is where one parent takes complete legal and physical responsibility for a child. The child will have a primary home with one parent where the child lives, and they may have contact visits with the other parent based on the agreement between both parents or by court order. The visit could be during weekends, holidays, birthdays, or even overnight stays. Depending on the specific circumstances, a court can grant either the mother or father sole custody.
With joint custody, a child alternately lives with each parent, and both parents share the physical and legal responsibility for the child. The joint residence may be split 50/50 between the two parents.
The child could spend two days with each parent, followed by five days with each parent. The alternating week schedule is another example of a 50/50 option and allows a child to spend one week with each parent.
Where an equal-time option is not feasible, parents can opt for different child arrangements such as 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, or 90/10. For example, in a 70/30 schedule option, a child spends five days with one parent and two days with the other.
Bird's nest custody arrangement
The bird's nest child custody arrangement enables a child to live in the family home full-time while the parents take turns living in the house with the child based on an agreed schedule. This kind of arrangement offers a child a sense of security and stability as they get to keep their house, school, and friends.
Flexible custody arrangement
A flexible custody arrangement allows for a completely flexible co-parenting schedule and shifting parental responsibility based on both parents' work schedules. For example, parents working within the emergency services may need a flexible child arrangement that will allow them to change parenting times as often as necessary according to their respective work schedules.
How Can GloverPriest Help?
At GloverPriest, we provide friendly and transparent family law advice. If you would like further help on child arrangements, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert family lawyers today. Complete our enquiry form