What does it mean to have “joint custody” of a child?
As previously discussed on this Springfield family law blog, a child’s best interests will guide matters related to their custody. To this end, different children may have very different plans that establish where they will live, if and when they will visit with their parents and how their custody will be divided. This post will briefly touch on one important way parents may share custody of their children, which is “joint custody.”
Joint custody means that both parents have custody of their child. This can relate to physical custody and legal custody. As a review, physical custody concerns the right of a parent to have a child live in their home, whereas legal custody concerns a parent’s right to be involved in making important decisions about their child’s life. Both are important rights that parents can fight to retain after their relationships with each other end.
Parents may have joint legal custody of a child, but only one parent may have physical custody of the child. In arrangements such as this, the parents must work together to decide how the child will be raised, but the parent with sole physical custody will be responsible for implementing those decisions and putting them into practice.
Although some kids may work well in joint custodial arrangements, it is important to state again that individual child custody cases will be decided based on the children’s unique interests and needs. Parents currently working through custody matters may wish to discuss their concerns and questions with trusted family law attorneys. Although this blog provides extensive information on topics related to family law, it does not offer its readers any legal advice or guidance.