The system of shared custody is beneficial in that it is a move away from the strict application of custody being awarded to one parent who must then grant the other parent access to the children.
The system of lone-parent custody has been criticised on the grounds of marginalising the non-custodial parent and generally depriving the children of having “both a mother and father”. At the moment it is the law in four autonomous communities but it seems to be on the radar of more and may well become the norm at some point in the future.
It should also be pointed out that shared custody may be agreed between the spouses and it is only a matter for the court to consider when agreement has not been reached. Once again, the spouses may agree on any arrangement between themselves that does not in any way harm the children.