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3 instances when joint custody may not be tenable

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2023 | Child Custody

The concept of joint custody is often seen as an ideal solution, promoting the involvement of both parents in a child’s life.

However, there are instances where joint custody might not be a viable option. Understanding these situations can be crucial for safeguarding the well-being of particularly vulnerable children.

Substance abuse

When one parent struggles with substance abuse issues, the stability and safety of a joint custody arrangement may be called into question. Courts prioritize the best interests of the child, and an environment tainted by drug or alcohol abuse raises serious concerns. In such cases, the legal system may lean towards sole custody to provide the child with a more secure and nurturing home.

Ultimately, courts will assess the extent of the substance abuse problem and its impact on the child’s welfare. A detailed evaluation, often involving social services, may become a pivotal part of the decision-making process.

Domestic violence

Instances of domestic violence can significantly impact custody determinations. Courts prioritize the safety of the child, and an environment marked by violence and abuse poses a direct threat. Joint custody may become untenable in such circumstances, with the focus shifting towards protecting the child.

Parental alienation

Joint custody relies on a level of cooperation and communication between parents. However, when one parent engages in parental alienation, attempting to turn the child against the other parent, the foundations of joint custody are undermined. Courts take this behavior seriously and may reconsider the feasibility of shared custody in the wake of such conduct.

Legal interventions may involve court-ordered counseling, supervised parenting time or, in extreme cases, a shift towards sole custody. Recognizing and addressing parental alienation early on is crucial to maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship.

While joint custody is often seen as an optimal solution, various factors can render it impractical or even detrimental to a child’s well-being. If you’re facing a child custody battle with an ex who isn’t currently a fit parent, you should consider engaging a legal professional who can ensure that the decision made in your case reflects your child’s best interests and honors your legal rights as a parent.