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Overcoming the disadvantages of joint custody arrangements

Parents in Minnesota make major decisions regarding their children all the time. While this is just a part of being a parent, it is not always easy to make the difficult parenting decisions. This is especially true when parents are divorced. And, depending on the child custody arrangement, parents may find this to be a complex matter.

Today, joint custody is the preferred custody arrangement in courts across the nation. Shared parenting situations allow for equal rights and access to the children. This is because joint custody affords both parents with legal and physical custody. And, most courts view such a situation as the most effective way to meet the best interests of the children.

While this custody arrangement appears to be very beneficial, it can also be difficult, even causing some disadvantages for some parents. Nonetheless, there are ways to overcome these obstacles and pitfalls. For example, some children involved in a joint custody arrangement might think that it is negatively affecting various relationships. This includes relationships with friends, ability to participate in after-school and weekend social and educational activities, attending religious event and even spending time with siblings.

The parents could address these issues in various ways. First, they could draft a parenting plan, which would require both parents to follow the terms of the plan. Next, parents could re-work their joint custody plan to match the needs of the children. This could provide them more stability. Finally, parents could be flexible. There might be times when a child voices where they want to be and what they want to do, so they could do their best to meet those needs even if it doesn't follow the current custody order.

From the perspective of parents, the most challenging aspect of a joint custody arrangement is the forced communication. In order to overcome this, parents could seek out counseling or parenting classes. Parents could also work it out that they only speak to each other when it is necessary, attempting to avoid unnecessary disputes. Finally, if major child custody issues arise, parents could use a neutral party, such as a mediator, to help resolve the issues.

Divorce can be messy for both parents and children. While a joint custody arrangement seeks to meet the needs of the children, this can often put parents in an emotional and complex situation. In these matters, it is important for the parents to understand ways to overcome and resolve these issues.

Source:, "Disadvantages of Joint Child Custody," Debrina Washington, Dec. 1, 2016

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