Joint custody is often what judges want to see in a child custody arrangement. Unless there is a situation where abuse is possible, it's typically in the best interests of children to see both of their parents following the end of a marriage.
Shared parenting through joint custody isn't just good for your kids, though. It's great for you, too. Between you and your ex-spouse, you should be able to share the challenges of raising a child and get the time you need to work, participate in your own hobbies and enforce consequences in multiple homes.
The goal of any joint custody arrangement has to be the bettering of your parenting abilities with the support of the other parent. Together, you can still raise a child with the same morals, consequences and rules you expect. You and the other parent need to work out a plan for how to raise your child together, to develop your preferred rules and requirements in your households and to enforce these expectations at both homes.
Whether you're living miles apart or are in the same neighborhood, both parents have to be on the same page when raising a child. Even if you're divorced, having different rules and requirements in your homes will impact your child and be confusing. It could also undermine you or your ex-spouse if you do not share the same rules; your child could simply go to the parent who would allow a certain treat or act instead of listening to the other's warnings or preferences.
Our site has more on joint custody, child custody and what to expect. The future may be uncertain, but your custody plan has to be resolved quickly.