How can you make joint custody work?

Nebraskan residents like you and your ex-spouse have your own unique family dynamic. Because of this, advice that applies to one family might not really work for you, and vice-versa. However, there are some hurdles you are bound to come across regardless of your situation or dynamic. Today, we'll examine a hurdle related to joint custody.

First, FindLaw defines joint custody as a type of shared custody over your child that you and your co-parent hold together. Unlike sole custody, which places the custody with one parent only, joint custody gives both parents an equal amount of power and say when it comes to raising a child.

This can be good for a number of reasons. For one, studies have shown that children tend to adapt better to a divorce if they are in a situation with joint custody rather than sole custody. It can be better for their adjustment and development. Studies have even shown that these children have fewer behavioral problems in later adolescence.

However, joint custody means sharing all of the big decisions. These decisions will involve the child's religious upbringing, their medical options, where they will go to school, and more. This can be difficult if there is a rift between you and your ex-spouse, as it becomes necessary to come to compromises.

One tool you can use to reach compromises is the use of a neutral third party. Co-parenting counselors can step in when you reach a decision that you simply cannot agree on. They can provide their insight and can guide decision-making. This is a more accessible means of achieving agreement than getting the court involved any time there is a dispute. However, the court may be an option in particularly severe cases, such as determining a life-saving medical choice.

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