Physical custody is simply defined as the parent with whom the children will reside with. If a custody order is structured with a shared or joint physical custody arrangement, this means that the children will actually reside with both parents for a period of time that far out ways the typical overnight visitation schedule (50-50 or 60-40 etc.). This type of custody arrangement is not the norm, but more and more parents are exploring as an option, especially if they intend to live close to one another and within the same school district.
The courts are only willing to award a custody arrangement like this if it seems as though the parents can work together and it is deemed to be in the best interest of the children. You can only imagine how a shared or joint physical custody arrangement could be difficult on the children. The courts like to see a schedule in which the children live with each parent for a significant block of time. This way a routine will remain in tact for the children.
Before introducing this type of arrangement to your spouse or the courts, be sure to examine whether or not it is truly feasible. Also, do not get joint physical custody confused with joint legal custody which is a more common type of joint custody that is awarded.