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Who does joint custody work for?

Joint custody is a well-known and renowned option for parents after divorce. It has numerous benefits heralded across studies that take place over the globe and across decades.

But who exactly does joint custody work for? And are there any people where joint custody is a poor idea?

Parents with civil ties

Talking Parents discusses situations where shared custody may not work. First and foremost, if parents do not have what it takes to cooperate, then shared custody will not work.

Many people falsely believe that divorcees need to be on amicable terms with their co-parents to make joint custody work. This is not true. However, it is important for parents of joint custody situations to have the ability to treat one another civilly and with respect. This means no taking potshots at each other or behaving in a hostile or aggressive way.

Kids can and often do pick up on even hidden tensions or aggression happening behind their backs. Thus, parents who are a little too heated may want to opt for a different custody measure such as parallel parenting, at least at first.

Parents who live close

Beyond that, joint custody also works best for parents who will remain within a relatively close distance to one another. Parents who are active duty service members or face the possibility of incarceration may not be the best participants in a joint custody situation.

Parents who want to make it work

Finally, both parents need to want an active role in their child’s life for joint custody to work. Forcing a parent who may want to detach from the family after the divorce to participate in their child’s life may do more harm than good.