A pending separation or divorce can cause all sorts of emotional upheaval for a California family. Since decisions may need to be made about child custody matters, both parents should carefully weigh their options. One of the best solutions is for moms and dads to respect each other’s relationships with their children and work out a custody agreement that offers the optimal parenting plan for everyone.

Researchers around the world concur that joint physical custody is typically the better answer over sole physical custody from a child development perspective. It is important for children of every age group, including infants and toddlers, to have consistent parenting from both moms and dads. A parenting plan such as this seems to give kids the best chance at growing up mentally and physically healthy. Studies show that children who spend equal time with both parents have fewer instances of stress-related illness, and their emotional and behavioral health usually reaps benefits as well.

In many cases, it is the fathers who are phased out of their kids’ lives. Some dads step back because they believe they are not important. However, the custody arrangement could make it difficult for fathers to spend enough time with their kids. Fathers have rights, and joint custody with full co-parenting is often worth fighting for.

When exes have trouble coming to a parenting agreement between themselves, or even if they think they do have it figured out, it might be helpful to seek advice from an attorney who specializes in family law. With legal assistance, it may be easier to reach a child custody agreement that works for everyone.