Joint Child Custody

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Joint child custody is something that occurs when both parents are given equal rights regarding custody of their children. These rights can take the form of legal, versus physical custody.

Legal and Physical Custody

Legal joint child custody involves the ability by both parents to make all the major decisions in their children's lives. These include matters such as where they will go to school, what religion they will be educated in, or any major medical decisions regarding the children. Legal custody can also involve issues such as child support.

Physical custody on the other hand has to do with which parent a child will live most of the time. This is where the term, "Weekend Father" comes from. Most of the time, children live with Mom during the week, and visit Dad on weekends, holidays, or vacations. More and more however, this policy is changing. Both parents do after all have equal child custody rights in the eyes of the law, and a father has, at least ideally, as much a chance of being awarded physical custody of his children as the mother does.

Joint Child Custody and Marriage

The thing to keep in mind is that joint custody of children is an issue parents must cooperate about as much as possible. Even after a divorce, a mother and father will always be a part of each other's lives, as long as they both love and play an equal part in their children's lives as well.


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