If you’re undergoing a divorce or separation with children involved, you must consider the emotional and often contested topic of child custody. While many different custody arrangements are available, joint custody is one of the most common options, as it allows both parents to remain equally involved in their children’s lives. This custody arrangement is usually considered to be in the best interests of a child as it’s believed that children benefit the most from being nurtured through a regular and ongoing relationship with both of their parents. Therefore, regardless of whether you and your spouse are on amicable terms, you should consider this custody arrangement. Please continue reading to learn about shared custody types and how a dedicated Suffolk County Child Custody Attorney can help you fight for a just parenting plan.
What’s the Difference Between Joint Physical Custody and Joint Legal Custody?
For children who are no longer cared for in a traditional two-parent family home, there are numerous different custody arrangements available. Joint custody is one of those options. Joint custody is an agreement where both parents are responsible for raising their child. This means that the child will spend significant time with each parent, and they each have the right to decide on essential matters like healthcare and education. However, it’s crucial to understand the different kinds of custody that are available:
- Joint physical custody: This type of custody arrangement encompasses where the child lives and who cares for them. With this type of custody, the child lives with each parent for a substantial time. This does not necessarily mean the parents have equal time with the child. However, each parent spends time with the child regularly. In some cases, joint physical custody could mean the child primarily lives with one parent, and the other has visitation or parenting time.
- Joint legal custody: This type of custody arrangement encompasses both parent’s legal right to make crucial decisions on behalf of their children. Parents have an equal voice in making significant decisions about their child’s life. This can include where a child goes to school, what extracurriculars the child participates in, whether the child receives religious training, etc. If parents share joint legal custody and disagree about significant decisions, they could request the court to decide for them. Nevertheless, if one parent has sole legal custody, they can make essential decisions on the child’s behalf without the other parent’s approval.
If you’re struggling with negotiating a custody agreement with your co-parent, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Suffolk County child custody attorney. At The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., we are prepared to help you safeguard your child’s best interests.