What you need to know about joint custody

As you make your way through the divorce process, it's only natural to think about the future. If you have a child with your soon-to-be former spouse, you'll definitely want to consider how your relationship will change.

When it comes to matters of child custody, the court will always focus primarily on the best interest of the child. While you and the other parent have the right to speak up, the court is not going to do anything that will put the child in a bad position.

In a perfect world, parents would be able to work together to create a custody and co-parenting agreement that they are both happy with. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, which means that the court has to step in and make key decisions.

There are two basic types of joint custody:

  • Joint legal and physical custody
  • Joint legal custody

The details of joint legal and physical custody

With this, parents share both physical and legal custody rights. This means many things, including the fact that the parents participate as equals in regard to making essential decisions.

Additionally, the parents split time with daily care for the child. This includes the right for the child to live with both parents.

What about joint legal custody?

This may sound similar to joint legal and physical custody, but there are several key differences to become familiar with. With this arrangement, both parents have the right to make decisions about how the child is raised. In this way, it's exactly the same as joint legal and physical custody.

The primary difference, however, is that physical custody is awarded to one parent. Of course, this doesn't mean the other parent will never see the child. Instead, he or she is awarded visitation.

Just as the court will consider what's best for the child, you need to do the same.

You have rights and you need to know what they are. Furthermore, it's essential that you make decisions that will ensure a strong relationship with your child in the future.

Nobody wants to go through a child custody battle, but there is a lot at stake. When you do what's best for your child, as well as yourself, you can be confident that the future is bright. 

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