When a marriage dissolves and children are involved, custody needs to be determined. Depending on the individual family’s circumstances, different custody options are available. Arizona prefers keeping both parents in a child’s life for their best interests whenever feasible, therefore joint custody may be a suitable choice. Here we’ll take a look at what is joint custody, how it differs from other types, and how it works for families.
What Is Joint Custody?
Joint custody involves both parents and has three different types: joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or a combination of both. In the combination of both, the parents work together to make decisions about the child’s life, such as where the child will go to school and other important life choices, in addition to splitting equal living time between their respective homes with the children. Joint physical custody is similar to shared custody in that it involves both parents’ physical custody of the child, but doesn’t always delineate equal legal decision making practices, such as school, religion, and more. In this case, one parent may make legal decisions on the child’s behalf. Joint legal custody is where both parents can make legal decisions on behalf of the child’s welfare, but the child may physically reside at one parent’s residence over the other due to locational restrictions.
How Joint Custody Works for Families
Divorce with children in the family unit puts a delicate twist on determining custody. While joint custody can provide a great foundation for the child in having the emotional development and access to both parents that benefits their life, it is not without compromise, communication, and collaboration on behalf of the parents. Here are ways that joint custody can be successful for families.
A Secure Family Base
While the parents may be divorced and not living under the same household like before, joint custody provides children with the most secure family base of the many custody options. They can spend equal time with both parents and receive the support they need as they grow. This can be a blessing for the child, as it’s been shown to be beneficial for their well-being. According to the research published by the American Psychological Association, children who have joint custody arrangements are better adjusted than those in sole custody arrangements by means of measurement such as better school performance, behavior, and self-esteem. This was attributed to the child’s contact with both parents instead of just one.
Court Ordered Parenting Schedules
Custody revolves around court ordered parenting time schedules, such as what weekends or days the child will be with each parent and for how long, including holidays. These schedules provide children with a sense of stability and routine when their life has been rocked by divorce. The child can spend equal time with both parents and still enjoy the activities that their daily life brings them without too much disruption. These parenting schedules are agreed upon in the best interests of the child, so if there is a conflict that parents cannot agree on, it’s best to have them submitted to the court. A disregard for the established parenting time schedule could put you in contempt of court with negative consequences, and is not in the child’s best interest.
If you’re looking for an experienced family law attorney for your custody case, Simon Law Group can assist you in preparing or renegotiating custody arrangements. For more information, contact us today online or via phone at (480) 568-1141.