Joint custody received numerous accolades over the years due to studies showing how much it benefits children of divorce.
However, even a good custody option will not benefit every family equally. In fact, some families may not benefit from joint custody at all.
Assumptions of joint custody
As Forbes states, joint custody enjoys increasing popularity around the country. Many people even argue that it should become the default option for divorcing couples with children across the country.
However, joint custody often presumes several things about a divorcing couple that is not true for all of them.
For one, it assumes that both parents will live within close proximity of one another so they can continue to parent together jointly. However, this is frequently not the case.
One parent may have to leave due to their job, or they may serve as an active duty service member. Sometimes, parents may face incarceration and a period of time forced away from their loved ones and society. In other cases, parents must leave in order to take care of an aging or sickly relative.
Handling unfit parents
Joint custody also presumes that both parents want an equal say in their child’s life, and that they are both equally safe for the child to be around. Unfortunately, this is not always true either.
For example, if one parent faces accusations of abuse or neglect, even if it is not toward their child, they should not have any direct involvement with the child until the case goes through court.
In this way, not every family will benefit from joint custody as things currently stand in their home.