Joint custody, sometimes referred to as shared custody, occurs when a couple goes through a divorce and a judge awards custody of any children involved in the relationship to both parents. While there is a difference in shared legal custody and shared physical custody, the fact remains that both parents are equally involved in the life of the children.
Even if the divorce is amicable and both parties agree on the terms of custody, it can become stressful when the time arrives to divide holidays, special events and other times. However, there have been studies conducted on child custody that show steps that parents can take to make the arrangement more successful.
Most of the rules revolve around the fact that the joint custody agreement is not about the parents. While researchers made that fact its own rule, it does a lot to encapsulate the general ideas outlined by the other rules.
Another key aspect to successful joint custody is to not speak ill of an ex in front of the child. No matter how nasty the divorce may have gotten, the child still loves that person as their parent, and that is something that should be respected.
Finally, being adaptable will help both parents continue to grow and evolve as their child does the same. Being willing to concede certain pre-scheduled days will open up lines of communication while making occasional wholesale changes to the agreement can be in the best interest of all involved parties.
A client going through a divorce who wants to pursue a child custody agreement concerning his or children may opt to hire an attorney who is familiar with the custody laws of their state.
An attorney may review all of the details of the divorce suit to help decide if there is a chance of coming to an amicable agreement concerning joint custody. After thorough review, an attorney can help their client take the steps that will be best for them and their children.