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Should parents seek joint custody of their child?

Families come in many different shapes and sizes these days. Not every family has a mother or father living in the same household. However, this doesn't mean that mothers and fathers can't share custody of a child. Some parents in Montgomery County that are getting a divorce may want to consider a joint custody arrangement.

Joint custody is almost exactly what it sounds like. Two parents share physical and legal custody or just legal custody as outlined in a child custody arrangement. Physical custody is a term that describes where the child lives and spends most of his or her time. Legal custody describes a parent's legal ability to make big decisions for the child such as religion, where they live, schooling arrangements and others. If parents agree to share physical and legal custody, this would mean a child custody arrangement that splits both time and big decisions equally (or as equally as possible) between the two parents sharing a joint custody arrangement.

Courts aim to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child. Obviously this varies from situation to situation, but in some cases a family court will grant equal time and decisions to both parents. This is assuming that both parents are fit for such a responsibility. This will be left for the family court to decide, but joint custody is an option that may be considered.

To answer the earliest question, should parents seek joint custody of their child? The answer is maybe, depending on the family's situation. However, joint custody is a child custody arrangement that may be on the table for discussion. If both parties understand what benefits and responsibilities would accompany a joint custody arrangement, they can better decide if this is the right child custody arrangement for their family.

Source: FindLaw, "Joint Custody," Accessed Nov. 30, 2015

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