Joint custody has enjoyed increasing popularity over the years, and for good reason. Studies done across the globe show time and again how many benefits joint custody may offer to children of divorce.
But will it serve as the best option in every single situation? Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Benefits of joint custody
Talking Parents discusses the benefits of shared parenting. Generally speaking, shared parenting offers a child a stable home life and the support of both parents, as opposed to just one. Studies across the globe have shown this to result in numerous positive impacts, such as:
- Better coping mechanisms
- Healthier relationships
- Fewer struggles with mental health
- Less trouble with authority
However, the success of joint custody depends on the parents to a fairly large degree.
Parental cooperation necessary
First and foremost, parents need the ability to cooperate and collaborate. They do not have to be best friends, and they do not even need to get along, necessarily. They do, however, need to interact with one another respectfully and calmly for the sake of their child. Some people simply cannot manage this.
Is the child’s best interest valued?
Next, parents need to keep their child’s best interests in mind. Not every parent does. For example, especially if the child is very young, one parent may no longer want involvement in their life after a divorce. Also, if a parent faces accusations of violent crime, abuse or neglect, they should be kept away from their child until the matter resolves in court.
In situations where joint custody does not work, there are other options available. These may suit a family much better.