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Understanding the Difference Between Joint and Shared Child Custody

Filing for a divorce is a huge decision to make, one that affects the rest of your life. In the event there are children involved, spouses are going to have to determine an effective method for child custody either in a settlement, or court dispute if the spouses are unable or unwilling to come to an agreement. For many couples, while they are ready to end their marriage, they still want to be involved in the lives of their kids as parents, therefore making the understanding of the different terms of child custody very important.

If you or your spouse is currently in that place of weighing the options for a divorce, contact a Ventura divorce attorney at Cutter & Lax today for the legal guidance you deserve! When discussing the option of child custody, there are going o be many terms to consider; however, joint and shared custody are among some of the more significant phrases that are helpful for parents to understand. Child custody in essence means that two divorced individuals have legally laid the groundwork for sharing some form of guardianship over the children.

Therefore, joint custody means that the both parents are going to be involved in the children's life, specifically addressing the legal ability to make important decisions for them. Joint custody allows both parents to decide which religion their children will be influenced by, if at all, or certain types of schooling as well as medical treatments and the like; requiring both the parents to both agree to the arrangements. What is important to know is that joint custody only address the topic of legal decision making and influence in the child's life, it does not address the topic of physical location nor time spent with each child.

Shared custody, on the other hand does address the very topic of the child's, or children's, location. This aspect of the legal arrangement then determines how much time each parent will have with their kids, and where they will physically be. Technically, shared custody is an agreement that both parents want to generally have significant amounts of time with their children, agreeing that the other parent has the ability to do so as well. Shared custody does however, mean that the parents will have to work together in a sense in order to coordinate their children's lives and their own.

This includes determining their involvement with their children's extracurricular activities, and extra responsibilities. It is common for parents who have shared custody, and who desire to see their kids more frequently over the week, will often chose to live close to one another in order to make the arrangement less stressful on the parents. Child custody may appear a complicating process, however with the guidance of a skilled divorce attorney you will be able to gather the necessary information for the process. Contact our firm today for more information!


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