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Understanding Joint Custody Arrangements

In most circumstances, a family court will determine that a joint custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. Family law allows joint custody to involve shared physical custody, shared legal custody, or both. Legal child custody refers to the parental right to make major decisions for the child’s upbringing. If you share legal custody with the other parent, it means that both of you must work together to reach a consensus on these major decisions, which can include education, healthcare, and religion. In the event that you cannot reach consensus, typically one parent has a tie breaker vote. You can obtain legal representation services to improve your chances of obtaining joint custody with the other parent.

Family law recognizes the need of children to have ongoing and regular access to both parents. Joint physical custody supports this. Generally, the child will spend more time with one parent and consider that home to be the primary residence. However, the other parent can have a generous visitation schedule with the child. This may include access to the child after school, on weekends and holidays, and during summer vacation.

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