"What are my chances of getting custody of our children, or at least being able to see them half the time?"
Within certain parameters, joint custody is whatever the parties agree for it to be or what the judge orders. That includes deciding the children's primary residence and who has control over the major issues in a child's life, such as academics, extracurricular activities, religion and medical treatment.
"Joint custody tends to push parents together in a sense of cooperation. I've seen parents who were fighting like Bengal tigers wise up and begin to cooperate for their children's sake under the terms of a joint custody arrangement.
"Joint custody is generally a good thing that does not fit every situation."
Ike Vanden Eykel is managing partner of Koons, Fuller, Vanden Eykel & Robertson.