Another celebrity couple is officially parting ways: David Arquette has filed for divorce from his wife of over 12 years, Courteney Cox Arquette. Maryland residents may remember Cox from her days as Monica Geller of the famous long running sitcom "Friends." The couple met each other while working on the set for the movie "Scream" in 1996. They were married in 1999 and have a 7-year-old daughter together.
The divorce petition states that Arquette is seeking joint custody of his daughter. In a true joint custody arrangement, the child would need to physically reside with each parent 50 percent of the time, for example, by moving from one parent's home to the others' from week-to-week or month-to-month.
Although this arrangement can certainly work for some families under certain circumstances, these types of arrangements can sometimes cause a great deal of stress and other difficulties for both the child and the parents, due to the fact that the child is moving so frequently between the home of the mother and the home of the father.
This arrangement can be cost-prohibitive for some parents because of the costs of maintaining two permanent homes for the child. For these reasons, a true joint custody arrangement such as this is not always the most practical or beneficial to the child.
"Joint legal custody" is the most common arrangement for child custody resulting from a divorce. Under this arrangement, both parents have equal rights and an equal say with respect to the upbringing of the child and all of the major decisions in the areas of health, education, religion, and the future of the child, but the child lives with only one parent and enjoys frequent visitation privileges with the other parent.
A Maryland visitation agreement is called a parenting plan. Parenting plans can be quite specific. They can detail specifically when, where, why and how each parent will spend time with their children.
Every family is different and unique custody arrangements and visitation agreements can be designed to fit every family's unique needs. The main focus when addressing these issues is what is in the best interests of the minor child.
Source: The Washington Times, "David Arquette: Actor files for divorce from Courtney Cox," June 12, 2012