Although joint custody has established itself as a general rule because it facilitates the child’s relationship with both parents, its implementation is not automatic, as the exercise of joint custody requires not only an equal division of time, but also of parental responsibility.
For this reason, and in view of the fact that the best interests of the child are always paramount, the Supreme Court has drawn up a catalogue of points to be considered when deciding whether joint custody is really in the best interests of the child.
The following points, for example, play a role:
1. do both parents have the ability and willingness to care for the child as they did before the separation?
2. what does the child itself want (if it is old enough to express its wishes)?
3. the number of children.
4. are the parents fulfilling their duties towards the children?
5. climate in the parents’ respective living environments (especially with any new partners).
6. outcome of expert reports to be drawn up
7. the location of the homes, schedules and routines
8. all criteria that indicate whether the children can lead an appropriate life (e.g. relationship with siblings, family…).
Therefore, if the stability and well-being of the child can be guaranteed, it is always advisable to decide on joint custody, without age, reasons for separation, etc. playing a role here.