There are various situations that fall under the umbrella of “joint child custody.” Below you’ll find more information on the types of arrangements, as well as advantages and disadvantages of those arrangements.
What is “Joint Child Custody”?
“Joint Child Custody” means that parents who do not live together still share decision-making responsibilities for, and/or physical control and custody of, the children they have together. This form of custody is able to be awarded to parents that are divorced, separated, no longer living together, and even if they have never lived together. Joint child custody is also the form of custody that is favored by the courts.
Joint Child Custody Arrangements
Joint Child Custody can take various forms, such as:
joint legal custody – where the parents share the decision-making responsibilities.
joint physical custody – where children spend time with each parent separately.
joint legal and physical custody – a combination of the above.
Joint Child Custody – Advantages and Disadvantages
There are advantages and disadvantages to joint child custody. While it ensures children continue contact with both parents, children still need to be shuttled from one parent to the other. This can be a difficult situation for non-cooperative parents, and thus can be a hard situation for children stuck in the middle. Regardless of if parents are cooperative or non-cooperative, it’s crucial that all financial records of groceries, finances associated with a child’s after school activities, medical care, and clothing are kept. In cases where parents argue about these things, a judge will appreciate finely detailed records. If parents can maintain a positive parenting schedule and approach, and keep the child’s best interests in mind, joint custody can be a positive and comforting experience for a child.
Source: Nolo, Types of Child Custody, 2014,
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