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What is the Difference of Joint and Shared Custody?

If you are considering a divorce, one of the likely topics of conversation that you and your spouse will need to address is the topic of child custody if you are parents. Obviously if your children are grown up and out of the home, they are likely already self-sufficient and will choose which parents to visit as they please. However, for minor children, this decision is going to largely rest with you. Granted, the court will take into consideration the wishes of the children when making their final decision if your case goes to court, how you establish your custody is going to make a big difference in their lives. As parents you should also be seeking to do what is best for them as well.

Within the realms of child custody, it is important to understand the differences between joint custody and shared custody, as they address two very different aspects of the parenting agreement. Joint custody specifically discusses the legal decision making power a parent has in the life of their child. If parents have joint custody, it means that they equally must consult one another before making big life decisions regarding topics like schooling, religious practices, healthcare, etc. this custody arrangement has nothing to do with the actual physical location of the children, but rather only the decisions made regarding their everyday life.

Shared custody, then addresses the actual locations of the children and the length of time. If parents are granted shared custody over their children, this means that they will work together in order to have a somewhat equal amount of time with the kids. For parents who live in the same town, it is more possible to have a consistent rotating schedule such as every 4 days, or every other week type of arrangement. However, this can be sorted out in your parenting agreement with the help of your attorney.

In the event you are considering a divorce, or simply have questions regarding child custody, child support, or any other family legal matters; contact The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner, today for the experienced Orange County divorce lawyer you deserve walking with your every step of the way!

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