Joint Custody: Everything You Need To Know
According to the GoodtoKnow website, more than 120,000 families separate every year, leading to 1 in 3 children experiencing a family breakdown. In most cases, this means that joint custody has to be introduced ensuring that both parents get an equal amount of legal authority to make decisions for their child. This is different from physical joint custody as it is still possible for parents to have shared legal authority but not see the child an equal amount of time.
The topic of joint custody can get really confusing, especially if you’ve just separated from your partner. To help you get your head around what you need to know, here’s our guide on joint custody…
What Is Joint Custody?
As briefly mentioned before, joint custody refers to the equal amount of legal responsibility that each parent has, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the child lives 50/50 with each parent. In order to have joint custody, you’re going to need to be committed. Joint custody revolves solely around schedules and you need to ensure that if you’re going to have your child for a certain number of days a week, that you stick to that and rearrange any other commitments around that.
How Is Joint Custody Decided?
The best interest of the child is at the center of all decisions, especially when it comes to joint custody. In very basics terms, the following questions are asked to determine the best interests of a child in deciding joint custody.
- What are the parents like? What about their moral standards, conducts and actions?
- Have the parent’s acted on their child’s best interests?
- What is the quality of the relationship between the parent and the child?
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child more frequent contact with the alternative parent?
These are all important factors in figuring out what type of joint custody you should have. There are various settlements that can be decided including 50/50 custody schedules with alternating weekends, or 70/30 custody schedules.
What Types Of Custody Are There?
There are currently two main types of custody that is dealt with in court. This includes:
- Joint Legal and Joint Physical
- Joint Legal and Sole Physical
Joint legal and joint physical custody basically describes a child that lives with both parents equally. Each parent has responsibility for the child in making decisions about their upbringing and general life such as their religion or education.
Whereas joint legal and sole physical custody is where a child spends time with one parent more than the other. But both parents still have equal responsibility in making decisions about the child’s future.
It is common for a child to mainly live with one parent while having regular visitation with the other, with both parents still having equal legal custody.
How To Get Joint Custody…
During the process of joint custody, you may need to find a suitable lawyer. Whether you’re interested to know what rights you have during joint legal custody or what happens with child support. We can help you out. Simply get in touch with our expert team today…