Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are in the middle of officially ending their marriage, and Jolie has filed for full custody of their six children. That is a move that is less common today. While the common perception in the past was that the children should stay with their primary caretaker, that has shifted. Today, it is assumed in California and other states that children are happier with both parents in their lives when both parents are fit to raise them.
Ultimately, it means that parents must allow for their children to spend periods of time living in each other's house. It is an arrangement that is not possible if one parent has sole custody. Overall, children benefit because two parents may be more effective at raising their children together than on their own.
For instance, one parent may be better at engaging the child in play while the other may be better at socializing them. This teaches children to develop their social and emotional skills and also learn how to control those emotions and express them appropriately. While children may still benefit if the non-custodial parent gets visitation rights, he or she may be seen as less of an authority figure since he or she isn't around as often.
The development of a parenting plan is a crucial element when parents of young children are facing the end of their marriages. If joint physical custody isn't appropriate, then the plan will address visitation schedules and in many cases allow flexibility. The parents may want to have their respective attorneys assist in negotiating such an agreement.