Joint Custody: Plausible, Attractive, but no Evidence Supporting It

(emphasis mine)

"Custody arrangements may matter far less for the well-being of children than had been thought . The rationale for joint custody is so plausible and attractive that one is tempted to disregard the disappointing evidence and support it anyway. But based on what is known now, we think custody and visitation matter less for children than how much conflict there is between the parents and how effectively the parent the child lives with functions. It is likely that a child who alternates between the homes of a distraught mother and an angry father will be more troubled than a child who lives with a mother who is coping well and who once a fortnight sees a father who has disengaged from his family. Even the frequency of visits with a father seem to matter less than the climate in which they take place. Joint physical custody should be encouraged only in cases where both parents voluntarily agree to it imposing joint physical custody would invite continuing conflict without any clear benefits. In weighing alternative public policies concerning divorce, the thin empirical evidence of the benefits of joint custody and frequent visits with fathers must be acknowledged."

Pages 75-76 in Divided Families, Frank Furstenberg and Andrew Cherlin

The info above is obvious. No study required. No research and grant money necessary.

Contrary to the fatherhood propaganda campaign, there isn't one study that shows that joint custody is beneficial when mandated. All of the fatherhood joint custody studies are based on families who chose the joint custody arrangement. Many couples successfully do so. Those couples are amicable and functional.

Joint custody in the current court system is an attempt to keep fathers from having to pay child support. They spout the phrase "the best child support is shared parenting/joint custody/equal parenting." Yes, it is best for fathers...because after all, this is who all of this is about.

Joint custody is easy for judges.

Joint custody is profitable for profiteers.

Forced joint custody suck for the kids.