For a couple pursuing divorce, one of the most difficult issues can be deciding how to determine child custody arrangement. Many parents consider their children to be the most important thing in their life, and would do anything to ensure that they play an important role in their child’s development. Therefore, many couples decide to pursue joint custody to ensure that their child has all the love and support they deserve.
Joint custody arrangement can vary significantly. For some parents, the joint custody they share is only legal custody. This means that both parents have an equal right to have input on important issues in their child’s life, such as religious training, education, and medical care. However, sharing joint legal custody does not necessarily mean that both parents will share physical custody of their child; one parent may still have the child living with them permanently.
Alternatively, parents can share joint physical custody of the child. This means that they will both have a right to a certain, prearranged amount of time with their child. These types of custody arrangements can vary widely; in some cases, one parent may have their child during the week and the other parent during the weekend. In others, parents will alternate periods of time during which they keep the child, either on a weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis.
There are distinct benefits to joint custody, both legal and physical. For one, it ensures that both parents have a say in their child’s life, and can help the child remain connected and supported as they grow. Furthermore, it can make parenting easier for both parents. However, there can also be downsides to joint custody. Constantly moving the child back and forth between homes can feel disruptive to their life, and animosity between parents can be damaging to their emotional development. Therefore, it’s critical to reach a custody arrangement that will work for both of the parents as well as the child. Discussing these issues with a qualified divorce lawyer can help to ensure the best possible outcome.