relationship and low levels of conflict between the child’s parents rather than the joint custody
Therefore, even in the best scenario, a correlation between joint custody arrangements
and better-adjusted children does not mean that the joint custody arrangement was the cause of
the more secure child; only a correlation between the two is reliable. In this example, the
harmonious co-parenting relationship could be the cause of the better-adapted and adjusting
child. By the same token, just because there is a correlation between sole custody arrangements
and children being more inclined to somehow suffer does not necessarily mean that the sole
custody arrangement was the cause of less stability in the child. It could merely mean that the
parental relationship in the sole custody arrangement is more acrimonious, which creates a more
hostile and unsafe environment for the child.
With almost half of children in the United States facing the real and challenging
consequences of divorce, it is apparent that issues of child custody profoundly impact the future
of our citizens and societal well-being. Historically, we have constantly and disappointingly
missed the mark. Now, we have finally chosen the correct standard – the best interest of the
child. However, the theory that joint custody serves the best interest of the child is flawed and
proves that the courts have not properly implemented the standard. Instead, the courts have
essentially used the standard as a tool to apportion ownership rights of children to their parents.
Admittedly, joint custody could be a workable arrangement between healthy, civil
parents depending on the circumstances. On the other hand, joint custody arrangements generally
242 Id.; See Jana B. Singer & William L. Reynolds, A Dissent on Joint Custody, 47 MD. L. REV. 497, 502 (1988); See
Andrea Charlow, Awarding Custody: The Best Interests of the Child and Other Fictions, 5 YALE L. & POL. REV.
266, 267 (1987).