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What Is Joint Custody?

Family law or family courts often deal with cases that involve separation, divorce, or annulment. Such cases are often difficult to resolve since families that enter into such litigation often have children. Thus, it is also probable for a family court to decide who retains custody or responsibility over the children involved in the family. When a court declares or a couple agree to both be legally responsible for the children, this situation is referred to as joint custody.


When a family court renders a decision of joint custody, many factors are taken into consideration before such a decision is reached. Such factors may be the lifestyle of the parent, the current employment and employment history of the parent, the parenting ability, the medical history of the parent, and other pertinent information. However, it is possible that the court find both parents to be suitable for parenting and to be legally responsible for the children. Thus, this leads to the court declaring both parents involved in the children’s lives.


Joint custody may involve 2 kinds of situations. Joint legal custody provides that each parent has the legal right to have an opinion and say on issues concerning the children. This may refer to matters of schooling, medical issues, or any other factors that involve the children’s welfare. The children live with one parent, while the other parent is given visitation rights. Joint physical custody involves the children living in each home of the parent in a pre-determined amount of time.

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