shared custody except for in more extreme cases,194 analyzing the effects that the presumption
has had on Australia illustrates the various intricacies that may impact the success or failure of a
joint custody arrangement. Further, learning which parental characteristics generally give rise to
a joint custody’s success or failure could assist in better assessing in which circumstances joint
custody is more likely to withstand time. Australia’s presumption also demonstrates that joint
custody is not always the best for the parties involved and that a one-size-fits-all approach will
not work for families.
Moreover, even if joint custody may endure throughout the years, it still may not be the
approach to adopt in a particular family. Considering the potential detriments to the child, the
child’s desires after time has passed, and the instability becomes more apparent to maturing
children, the Australian study emphasizes the more discreet yet notable adverse effects of joint
custody.195 Turning a blind eye or denying the effects of joint custody does not fulfill the
ultimate goal of rearing better adjusted, more successful, and happier children.196 The results of
this Australian study reveal that children who are exposed to joint custody, at least when there is
relatively high parental conflict, are not ultimately happy with their arrangement.197 Though the
parents are content with the joint custody arrangement, the child hopes for a change198 – whether
it is because the change will relieve him or her from the tug-of-war between the feuding parties,
provide him one stable environment to call home, or another reason.199
194 J. Daw, Joint Custody Might Be Best Option for Children of Divorce, Study Finds, AMER. PSYCH. ASSC., (June
2002), http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun02/custody.aspx; Children Likely to Be Better Adjusted in Joint Vs Sole
Custody Arrangements in Most Cases, According to Review of Research, (2002),
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2002/03/custody.aspx (last visited Feb 7, 2017).
195 See Post-Separation, supra note 63, at 41-42.