Joint custody has numerous benefits which have solid documentation through a series of studies that have spanned countries and years.
However, that does not make it the perfect solution for every single family. In fact, it might do more harm than good in some cases.
What if a parent faces allegations?
Talking Parents discusses the situations in which joint custody does not always work. First and most obvious is in a situation where one parent currently faces allegations of abuse or neglect, or other violent or harmful crimes.
No matter who these charges are against, whether they are toward the parent’s child or ex-spouse or anyone else, this signifies a person who should not be around their child. Of course, circumstances may change if the court case proves them innocent. But until that point, the individual should keep their distance.
What if a parent is not physically around?
Semi-related, but if a parent cannot physically spend time with their child, they also may not benefit from joint custody. This is particularly true in the case of incarceration and jail time where a parent may not see their child for years to come. It can also apply to situations like active duty military service which can result in a person getting stationed far away for months or years.
What if parents cannot agree?
Finally, joint custody will not benefit a family in which the parents simply cannot set aside their differences to cooperate. Joint custody does not require parents to become best friends or even to like one another. However, they must have the ability to cooperate, make concessions and behave civilly toward each other. Anything else could seriously upset the child and cause more harm than good.