THE CONCEPT OF JOINT CHILD CUSTODY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
When the family falls apart and the parents can no longer live together in a partnership, their parent position obliges them to look for a solution, which seems to be the most favourable not only for them, but also for their child or children. The joint custody, in which the parents’ responsibilities have to be divided between both parents, is utilized but rather seldom in the Czech Republic since the 1998. Joint custody is considered to be the best solution in this situation in the perspective of future development of the child-parent relationship with both of the splitting up parents. Dealing with the problems connected with joint custody is not only an issue of the parents and their family members. Lawyers, psychologist, doctors and social workers are taking their own stand in relation to specific cases. The psychologist are the ones, who above all support us with empiric evidence of beneficial effect of the concept of joint custody. On the other hand, the voices of the teachers are the ones, who are being heard the least in the Czech settings. We carried out a research in which we utilized the method of thematic writing. Seventeen written products of the nursery school teachers were analysed (range of 2000 to 2500 words). Aim of this study was to reveal their view of the joint custody concept. We were also interested in the experience that the teachers had with the children who attend their schools and were in the joint custody. The teachers perceived the joint custody as beneficial, but also very difficult for people after divorce who often maintain long lasting conflicts. From their experience, the feasibility of joint custody is fully dependent on the ability of the parents to agree on the mutual fulfilling of the true interests of their children.