Joint Custody: Your Responsibility Doesn’t End After Divorce

child custodyFor many families, divorce is the only option for couples who can no longer work their differences and have a harmonious relationship. Unfortunately, children are often caught in the middle of this tumultuous event and it isn’t a stretch to say that this is often traumatizing for them.

The question of who gets custody of the child or children is always a tough one to answer, and it depends on the current situation between the parents. It’s important to remember that the parents’ responsibilities don’t end even after a divorce, regardless of whoever gets custody of the child.

Joint Custody

Even if the parents can’t get along anymore, they may still agree that having the two of them raise their child together shouldn’t be compromised. If you’re going to ask a Littleton divorce lawyer, joint custody is the more appealing agreement for couples, as it retains their responsibility as parents to their child.

In the United States, there are two forms of joint custody – joint physical and joint legal custody.  Joint physical custody is what most people refer to as visitation, wherein the child spends an equal amount of time between the two parents. This is often the preferred arrangement between parents since it doesn’t compromise the ability of any one parent to enrich the lives of their child or children.

The arrangement for joint legal custody, on the other hand, means both parents have the legal authority to make decisions for their children. Both parents will be able to make decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, and medical care, to name a few.

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Despite how accommodating these forms of joint custody are, the two are entirely separate from one another. This means that a couple may have legal authority to make decisions for their child, but they can’t share joint physical custody and the same applies the other way around.

Think of the Children

Parents planning to get a divorce should consider the feelings of their children carefully before they make a decision. If divorce is really the only way to settle each other’s differences, the child’s welfare and future should be what defines the decision, whether it’s joint legal custody or joint physical custody.