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Does joint custody ever work well?

Separating the pieces of a formerly joined life is never easy, but getting a divorce becomes much more complex when you have children. You must step back from your emotions surrounding the event and determine what is in their best interest.

New Jersey law favors joint physical custody, but is it ever successful? It can be very successful.

Key factors that make shared physical custody work

You and your ex are off to a good start if you agree that joint physical custody is the best arrangement for your children. Other key factors to successfully shared custody are:

  • You and your ex live near one another
  • You both desire to maintain close and involved relationships with the children
  • You are both committed to cooperation and joint decision-making
  • You can both nurture a positive relationship between the children and your ex, setting aside personal feelings

Though New Jersey prefers joint custody arrangements, the court’s priority is the children’s best interest.

How to set up for ongoing success

Establishing and agreeing on a schedule and how to handle holidays and vacations is critical. You and your ex should develop a co-parenting plan that is as detailed as possible, including steps for resolving differences and making changes to the plan. It does not hurt to revisit it regularly to evaluate what works and what does not.

Going through a divorce is an emotional time for everyone. However, if you and your ex believe shared custody is the best choice for your children, you can take steps to make it work well.