Joint custody, also called shared custody, allows a child’s parents to share the decision-making responsibilities and/or physical control and custody of the child. Joint custody might be in the form of an agreement between both parents or a court-appointed joint custody order. Court-ordered agreements are common when parents are separated or divorced, or if they have never lived together.
Joint custody can be defined in several different fashions:
Joint legal custody: Both parents partake in the legal responsibilities of the child
Joint physical custody: The children split significant time staying with each parent
Parents can be awarded (or agree to) both joint physical and legal custody. A common custody pattern involves splitting a child’s time at each parent’s home for weeks at a time. Joint custody options also include alternating years, six-month periods, or split weekend/weekday arrangements. When deciding the allocation of a child’s time, it is always important to keep the child’s best interest in mind.
When Would the Court Step In?
The awarding of shared joint custody means that both parents will need to reevaluate their lives and schedules to maximize their quality time with their children. Agendas, housing arrangements, and other factors have to be considered. This can cause friction or disagreement when one person feels the situation is not fair. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own, the courts will impose an arrangement.
Advantages to Joint Custody
There are many advantages for both the children and the parents when joint custody is awarded. For example, the children have continued contact and involvement with both parents. In addition, the burden of single parenting is alleviated when the child is away with the other parent.
There are disadvantages as well, primarily stemming from the fact that the children must adhere to a regimented schedule. Also, depending on the existing relationship between parents, tension can negatively impact children. Maintaining two homes for the children can also be expensive.
How We Can Help
If you are getting divorced and need to make custody arrangements, the attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC can assist you through the process of reaching and filing a durable custody agreement – whether you need to go to court or not. We will answer your questions, explain how to get started properly, and ensure you are as informed as possible. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation.
Contact Petrelli Previtera, LLC for Assistance
Determining custody can be one of the most stressful aspects of divorce and separation. To reach your goals quickly and efficiently, you need the right information from day one. Contact Petrelli Previtera, LLC to schedule a consultation. We can answer your questions, help you get started, and ensure you are as informed as possible throughout the process.