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Does joint custody serve every family?

Joint custody has enjoyed continued and rising popularity over the years, due in part to numerous studies that show the benefits it has on children of divorce.

However, as with any other situation, unique factors in a family can render joint custody an impossible choice or one that might even serve as a detriment.

Potential physical limitations

Talking Parents talks about shared custody and who it may not work out for. Shared custody typically involves both parents in a divorce situation sharing legal custody and sometimes even physical custody over their child. While this benefits many types of families, it does not benefit all.

For example, in some situations, parents do not have the ability to physically spend time with their child. This often happens in cases where one parent serves in the military and may end up stationed elsewhere at a moment’s notice. It also includes parents facing a period of incarceration.

The child’s best interest

Next, parents do not always have the best interest of their child in mind. If one parent currently faces charges for abuse, neglect or violent crimes, they should stay away from their child regardless of whether or not the child was the alleged victim. This should last until the court case gets decided.

Parental cooperation

And of course, not every parent has the ability to cooperate to the degree that joint custody requires. Parents do not need to become best friends in order to make it work, but they need a level of respect and cooperation toward one another. They cannot let their ill feelings influence or interfere with their child’s well-being, and some simply cannot manage this.