In Maryland, there are two different types of custody, physical and legal custody. Joint or shared physical custody has numerous well-known benefits and many supporters across the nation. However, it does not fit every situation perfectly and joint does not always have to mean equal.
In fact, in some cases, equal or 50/50 custody may actually serve as a bigger detriment than any possible benefit it could give.
Can you cooperate?
Psychology Today talks about if joint custody works for certain families. The first thing to note is that joint custody depends on both parties having the ability to work past any disagreements or misgivings they may have in order to cooperate and raise their child together.
Simply put, this is just not in everyone’s abilities. For some couples, the divorce and what led up to it is too rocky to allow for any collaboration in the future.
Does your job allow you to have equal access?
For equal or shared physical custody to to work well, it is important for both parents to have the ability to exercise equal access to their child, which is not always the case for one parent or the other. The most common examples include a parent serving as an active duty member of the military, or a parent facing time in jail.
Is it in the child’s best interest?
Finally, it is important for both parents to have their child’s best interest in mind, and put the child’s needs first. Parents need to keep in mind some factors that may effect the children when they separate and consider shared access. Some factors that parents may want to consider are geographical, a parent’s work schedule, a child’s activities, etc.