Sole custody holds that only one parent bears full responsibility for the child regardless of the other parent’s opinion. The parent without custody rights visits the child but cannot decide about the child’s life. The pros of such a decision include the child’s safety and the parent with custody in case the other parent is an abuser, ease of making decisions about the child’s life, and limited conflict.
As for the cons of sole custody, the burden of emotional and financial support to the child is on one parent. On the contrary, joint custody implies that “children live at least one-third of the time with each parent.” The benefits include the presence of both parents in the child’s life and shared parenting responsibilities.
The disadvantages of joint custody are the instability of the child’s life and the complexity of making a decision. Overall, Nielsen’s systematic review findings demonstrated that children in joint custody demonstrate better outcomes than children in sole custody. Therefore, when deciding in the best interest of the child, judges should consider not only the specific factors of a given family but also the evidence.