Learn More about Joint Custody.
When raising children, the best kind of parenting is shared parenting. When children get quality and adequate time from both parents, studies have shown they tend to have stronger family relationships. Sometimes, however, shared parenting may not be possible. For example, where parents have separated or are working from far distances, children may not get shared parenting.
Joint legal custody is, however, provided for in California child support laws. Legal custody involves the parent’s right and responsibility to make decisions on a child’s day-to-day welfare, education, and health among others. Some of the decisions the parent would make are such as religious activities, education, extracurricular activities, and medical care.
Joint custody has become common in California. In this kind of arrangement, both parents must work together when making important decisions about their children. If there is a dispute, they may go to court to settle it. Joint custody will, however, vary from physical custody. Physical custody is when a parent shares a home with the kid. In the case of joint physical custody, each parent shares a home with the kid.
Where joint legal and physical custody is granted, the child will have two residences. It is unlike when a child lives with one parent but visits the other. The best case is when both parents reside in the same city. In such a situation, the parents will have to work together to make major decisions for the child. Therefore, communication will be a priority.
On the other hand, joint legal custody but sole physical custody is another alternative. In this arrangement, the child will live with one parent but both parents will make important decisions regarding the child.
There are some benefits of joint legal custody. Since both parents will need to come together when making major decisions, it will be an advantage to the kids. Also, it will be a healthy way of upbringing the kids since the parents will need to genuinely interact with one another.
Because parenting is dynamic, you will experience ups and downs. Since both parents will be involved, their input will be valuable. In a situation where important decisions are involved such as education and medical care, such input would be valuable. What makes joint legal custody a good arrangement is that the interest of the child is given priority.
To ensure joint legal custody is working out, both parents will need to show they are ready to work together especially in making major decisions for the children. However, the court will be careful not to grant joint legal custody where one parent is not reliable.