Family law courts have the power to order many things, but they can’t order ex-spouses to get along with each other. Yet this doesn’t necessarily mean that an unfriendly couple can’t share parenting duties. A father in Pennsylvania who was planning to retire from his job asked a judge for shared custody. The judge denied the request, ruling that the mother and father couldn’t share custody because they didn’t “work well together” and hadn’t demonstrated the ability to be “civil and cordial.”
But the father appealed, and the appeals court disagreed. The appeals court said that as long as the mother and father showed a “minimal degree of cooperation,” they could share custody – it wasn’t necessary that the have a good relationship.