Joint custody is a highly acclaimed option for parents going through divorce. Though the benefits are well documented in studies spanning years, this does not mean everyone will reap the benefits equally.
In fact, there are some people who joint custody may not work for at all. Which families and individuals may fall into this category?
Parents who lack cooperative skills
Psychology Today talks about the benefits of joint custody. The benefits have been documented in studies spanning years and typically point to various improvements in the children’s mental health, coping mechanisms and ability to form healthy bonds with others.
But not every family can manage to go through joint custody in a healthy way. First, parents need a degree of trust and cooperation with one another. Though it is not necessary for parents to be best friends, they should at least have what it takes to set aside their differences and not argue in front of their child or drag their child into it.
Parents who cannot be present
Also, both parents need an investment in their child’s best interests. If one parent wants nothing to do with the child, then it is often better not to force their involvement. Likewise, if one parent is unavailable for long periods of time for various reasons like military service or incarceration, then this option may not be the best, either.
Parents facing allegations
Finally, if one parent faces allegations of abuse or neglect, they should not have access to the child while the case is under investigation. Permanent solutions can come after the matter ends up resolved.
Fortunately, there are other options for divorce that do not involve joint custody and they may work better.