Joint Custody – Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

You may be considering joint custody but you are wondering if it is really the best for you and your children. Every divorce is different as is every family and reason for divorce. Joint custody can and will work if both parents really make an effort to put their children first.

Advantage of joint custody include the chance for the children to keep the binding relationship they already posses with both parents. With joint custody, neither father nor mother is left out of rearing their children and spending quality time with them. It also gives the other parent some relief from being a full time mom and dad. The best reasons are of course that the children will still receive discipline, love and guidance from both parents equally.

With joint custody, there are no custody battles as long as you both can learn to compromise when it comes to the children. You will not have to worry about the non-custodial parent showing the child with presents to earn their love, and the children will also not be able to use one parent against the other as much, since both parents are in agreement over the rules that have been established.
Joint custody also helps the children in the fact that they are not losing a parent or being rejected by one parent. Since, the custody will be shared equally the children understand that both parents love them and want to be a part of their life.

The disadvantages may come as a surprise to some parents. The children may wish for more stability than they are getting by spending half a year one place and half a year another. According to where the parents live, children may be missing their friends, disrupting school activities, and even longing for their belongings left behind. The age of the children has a lot to do with types of problems. Younger children may miss a favorite toy or blanket, while the school age children may not get to be in the games of the little league team. Middle school and high school age can miss out on their school dances, performing in the band, or other after school programs.

As you can see, joint custody can work but it may not be what is right for your family. If the children are old enough and it is possible, the entire family should sit down and discuss the situation including both parents. The idea of joint custody is to give children security and love from both parents without infringing upon the needs of the children to grow, make friends and adjust to the divorce.

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