Divorced parents face tough decisions when it comes to the custody and visitation of their children. Most divorced parents want to spend as much time as possible with their children, so many divorced parents agree to joint child custody. This involves physical and legal custody.
Joint physical child custody means that children spend almost equal time at both parent’s homes. It means both mother and father have roughly equal responsibilities for the physical care of the child –essentially the making of a home. Joint legal custody means both parents make the important decisions concerning the children, (even if the child spends more time with one parent).
Joint physical and legal custody (sometimes called shared physical and legal custody) is a heroic attempt by both parents to remain actively involved and present in the lives of their children. In many jurisdictions courts favor sole physical custody by one parent and joint legal custody.
Joint custody demands parents consult and cooperate on all significant matters concerning the children – education, health care, religious training. If the parties did not co-parent the children during the marriage, many courts do not believe they will do so after a divorce.
Joint custody requires that parents work together on a daily basis. The biggest challenge is creating a parenting plan calendar that accommodates both parents’ schedules. A lot of confusion can come up with trying to remember all of the pick up and drop off times and what days the children are with what parent.