Individuals enlisting the help of a divorce attorney tend to seek clarification when it comes to child custody. There are understandably many questions one might have regarding their personal rights as a parent as well as the previous partner’s legal rights. Each unique scenario is navigated according to the “Child’s Best Interest” standard; this essentially means that numerous factors in regards to the needs of the child and the capabilities of each parent are taken into consideration.
How is Joint Custody Defined, Exactly?
Joint custody is a very common legal negotiation between past partners. Despite this agreement sharing some of the same elements as a shared custody arrangement, it does feature plenty of separate determinations.
In the simplest of terms, joint custody delegates specific tasks to each parent more as an individual rather than having both parents work collaboratively. This is the typical court decision when there is a relatively small distance between current households. It also serves well for ex-couples who face greater difficulties sitting down and reaching decisions together. All joint custody cases include legal custody for both parents. At times joint custody may only include physical custody for one parent (for more volatile cases), nevertheless. This is due to the fact that there can be lasting psychological effects for a child moving frequently in addition to being surrounded by strained relationships. Regardless of these assorted factors, joint custody will provide the young with a feeling of seeing each parent regularly. Visitation rights are often granted to parents lacking physical custody. The court will do its best to establish healthy boundaries and expectations for all parties involved.
There are also plenty of instances where both parents are granted some level of physical custody. Oftentimes a joint custody situation will set each parent with a mapped out schedule for time spent looking after the child or children. A great percentage of these agreements assigns one parent significantly more time spent with the child; this is due to differing financial situations and the physical capabilities from one parent to the next. For example, one parent may directly take care of a child from Monday through Friday, whereas the other is granted the legal responsibility of housing the child over the weekends. Physical time spent aside, a joint custody agreement usually assigns particular tasks to each parent as an individual, something that is once again concluded after assessing various components.
How Does Joint Custody Differ From Shared Custody?
Both joint and shared custody involve elements of legal custody. Depending on the nature and history of the parental relationship, some joint custody agreements include physical custody for both parents. In a shared custody agreement, each parental figure or guardian has physical custody. That said, joint custody views each parent more as a separate entity while shared custody essentially treats both parents as one the way decisions are reached and providing shelter to the child or children. Shared custody can be very smooth sailing when parents can personally reach decisions privately without necessarily requiring the interference of a court of law.
This alternative can provide a child with further stability, however courts will always work towards an optimum climate for children. With shared custody instances, generally the child will spend about half of their time with one parent and half with the other. When the adults are able to communicate in a civil manner these agreements are quite favorable, even when the parents or guardians live a great distance from one another. If conversations turn more confrontational, select court decisions can be incorporated in a shared custody agreement as seen fit.
Joint custody provides each parent with clearly defined rights and duties. This serves as an excellent option for ex-partners who are relatively close in location yet may require some court assistance where dividing parental tasks is concerned.