So, the court has ruled that you have joint custody of your child. But what is joint custody, anyway? Click here for more information!

Half of all children in the United States will witness a divorce from their parents.

There are many reasons parents will choose to get divorced after having children. Regardless of the reason, custody of the children will need to be decided while negotiating the divorce.

You may have heard the term “joint custody” before. So, what is joint custody? Keep reading to learn more!

What is Joint Custody?

Joint custody is when each parent has equal control over certain aspects of the child’s life.

There are two different types of custody. These are:

Physical Custody

Physical joint custody is when both parents have the right to have the child live with them.

In these cases, the child typically spends a lot of time with both parents. For example, the child may spend weekends with one parent and weekdays with the other parent. This type of arrangement makes attending school easier, especially if the parents don’t live in the same city.

The court will want to know that the child has a semi-normal routine, so they’ll want to decide on set days for each parent. This will help create a new “norm” for the child so they can get adjusted to living in two homes.

If only one parent has physical custody, that parent will be in charge of where the child stays. In this case, the child lives with the parent with sole custody full-time. The parent with sole custody has the right to let the child spend the night with the other parent if they choose.

Otherwise, the parent without sole custody may only be able to stop by and see the child under supervision.

Legal Custody

Where physical custody dictates where the child lives, legal custody takes care of responsibilities.

If the parents have joint legal custody, they have equal rights for deciding factors of the child’s life. For example, when to go to the doctor, which doctor to go to, which school to go to, etc. 

If one parent feels the other parent is making decisions that are harming the child, they can fight for sole legal custody. Sole legal custody gives one parent the right to make all decisions.

How Does Joint Custody Work?

As the parents are determining the legal factors of the divorce, custody is decided.

Also, shared custody child support will be decided at this time.

Unless one parent can prove that the other parent is creating an unsafe environment or harming the child, joint custody will usually be the final decision. For example, if one parent has partners coming in and out of the home or drug use, the other parent may have the right to sole custody.

If the parents can be civil and work together, joint custody can make the situation easier. In some situations, the parents will disagree, which may cause tension that impacts the child negatively.

Understanding Child Custody is Simple Once You Learn the Basics

Once you learn the types of child custody and what impacts the decision, understanding joint child custody is pretty easy!

So, what is joint custody? It’s just when the parents equally share the child following a divorce.

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