Joint custody sounds, in many ways, like the obvious answer during a divorce with children. You're both the children's parents, and joint custody allows you both to stay involved and to help with the responsibilities and obligations that come with raising those kids.
However, there are issues that can make it very implicated. Some oft-cited examples include:
-- Parents who don't live close to one another. When you live a good distance from one another, transporting the kids becomes complicated, costly and time-consuming. If they're supposed to be with you for 50 percent of the time and with your ex for the other 50 percent, do you both have time and money to keep driving them back and forth? Kids can feel like they live on the road.
-- Parents who are always fighting. Joint custody isn't nearly the same as being married, but you'll still see one another a lot. Is that always going to spark a fight? Are you never going to be able to move on? Will it be awkward if you start dating again or get remarried?
-- Kids who have complex schedules. As the kids get older, they may get involved in a lot of after-school activities. Extensive planning is needed to figure out who will pick them up and drop them off, which can be hard if the kids get out of school at 3 and you both work until 5 or 6.
That being said, these issues don't mean joint custody is impossible, and many experts insist it's in the children's best interests. Make sure you know what your rights are, what your kids' rights are and what has to be done to set up a parenting plan and custody agreement that works.
Source: NPR, "Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids?," Jennifer Ludden, accessed April 07, 2017