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Situations where joint custody may not be ideal

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Family Law

Many Maryland residents with children are no longer with their spouses or partners and need custody to be determined. Although joint custody is often thought of as the best thing for everyone, that’s not always the case. Below are some examples of situations where you might want to rethink that option.

Bouncing around is too stressful

Family law judges prefer children to have time with both parents, but joint custody may not work if it creates mental health issues for the child. Bouncing around can be too stressful for some kids; this is especially true for younger children who need more stability. If feeling like a nomad leads to anxiety, it’s best to avoid joint custody.

Parents live too far apart

One of the most common reasons to avoid joint custody is that the parents live too far apart. Kids need stability not only at home but in other areas of their lives. If shuffling back and forth between homes disrupts the child’s friendships and schooling and their academic performance begins to suffer, it’s better for one parent to have custody while the other has visitation.

Parents don’t get along

Another reason joint custody may not be a desirable choice is when the parents don’t get along. In situations involving joint custody, it’s crucial for the parents to work together as a team to co-parent their kids. This is a healthy situation that requires effective communication and a cordial or at least civil arrangement after a divorce or breakup. However, if the relationship ended badly, there was a history of abuse or one parent is a narcissist, joint custody might be impossible.

Joint custody is not always appropriate. In any of these situations, an alternative arrangement might be more appropriate and better benefit the child.