Divorce is not a fun subject, nor is it easy for anyone involved. It’s difficult to go from living in one home together to discussing splitting your time with your children. This process can be a very emotional subject for both you and your spouse, and, of course, your kids. Courts will agree if parents can co-parent and get along, joint custody is the best case scenario. It requires a lot of hard work, and mutual respect to make this a smooth process. Many parents have a difficult time with joint custody, but for those parents who can put their differences aside, they have found joint custody to work for their family.

To understand Joint custody, you must understand the types of custody the court will award:


Physical Custody

This means the court has deemed the physical location of the child to be with one parent, or if there is joint physical custody, a child may split their time between both homes. Courts only award joint physical custody if both parents live close to each other, so it doesn’t affect the child’s daily activities.


Legal custody

This means the court has granted the responsibility to make legal decisions such as where they will go to school, or how they will receive medical treatment. If there are Joint legal custody both parents, have to agree on all of these points.


Joint custody

This means both parents live in separate homes but share the responsibilities of raising the child together. They make decisions together and not independently of one another about major decisions such as: where your child will live, go to school, receive medical care, involve yourself in activities, etc. Joint custody can be physical custody, legal custody or both. For couples that share joint physical custody, it is pretty common for them to share joint legal custody as well. However, the opposite is not necessarily the case. Parents that share joint legal custody will not always share joint physical custody.


After reading this, you can see that it would be tough for two adults who cannot get along to make joint custody work, however for the parents who choose to set their differences aside for their children’s sake, it can be an excellent option. If you do not feel you can work together as a team, it will be best to look into other options for your child custody agreements.


Tempe Child Custody Attorney

No matter what your decision is, it’s always best to have an attorney to help you set the legal parameters of your child custody agreement. Making it a legal document will protect both of you if there is ever a disagreement. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack, we assist residents of Tempe, Arizona, and surrounding areas with all family law matters. We will do all we can to work toward a positive result for you. To speak with a Tempe child custody lawyer contact us online or by calling 480-345-2652.