Search Site

The Pros and Cons of Joint Custody

The term “joint custody” refers to a shared custody agreement between divorced parents of minor children. Joint physical custody is an arrangement in which parents both spend substantial time with their children (though not necessarily equal), while joint legal custody is when both parents share the power to make important decisions regarding their children’s upbringing.

The standard for courts in determining custody arrangements is to develop an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. Does this mean courts will prefer joint custody arrangements?

The answer is that it really depends on the situation. Having both parents as part of a child’s life is considered the healthiest option when feasible, but there are some circumstances in which joint custody might not be appropriate. For example, joint physical custody is inappropriate if there is significant physical distance between the parents, and joint legal custody is inappropriate if one parent is determined incapable of parenting or a danger to the child.

Pros and cons

Consider the following pros and cons of joint custody.

  • Pros
    • The child is able to grow up and be influenced by both of their parents
    • Parents both make mutual decisions about the child’s life and can take an active role in the child’s upbringing
    • The child gives the divorced couple common ground, which can help them improve communication and reduce friction
    • The parents share the burden associated with raising a child
  • Cons
    • It can be stressful for kids to go back and forth between homes
    • In some cases, it can create more issues for divorced parents to fight over
    • Parents who don’t communicate well might miss warning signs or needs of the children

For more information about whether joint custody is right for your situation, contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


Contact us

Quick Contact Form